Last week, I made comments about the transitory and artificial nature of being famous. As an example, I referenced Adam Lambert, second place finisher in last year's American Idol, a show I don't actually watch.
In our printed edition, I got only a few comments. Once it was posted to our online edition, all of that changed.
The first angry response I got was from Finland. The letter writer was perturbed that I had compared Adam Lambert to Paris Hilton, noting that Ms. Hilton had no talent while Mr. Lambert was an extremely talented singer! Okay....
Another respondent kept their name and address confidential. They were upset that I had said something about Adam Lambert wearing mascara. She pointed out that he never said he wore mascara. Hmmm,,,, some things one doesn't have to be told; but, again, okay....
The world has changed. Once, the stories and pictures that appeared in our little newspaper might eventually catch someone's attention in another place; but, only if an actual copy of the paper landed in their lap. What our letter writers expressed, what our columnists wrote about, what our happenings were,,,, all those things are now part of the world at large.
Just ask Jeff and Margaret Durst.
Several times a week, I forward emails on to the couple over at The Green House from online readers either commenting on that week's topic, or asking questions for clarification. And those emails come from all over the world.
Just this morning, I got an email (anonymous) from someone who thanked us for running the Al-Anon articles and noting how helpful that group has been in their life.
Words have power. Not just the words of presidents and statesmen; but, the words that we utter every day and that are recorded every week. That means that Tad Leifeste, Jane Zesch, Kendal Hemphill, Margaret Durst and all the rest have readers all over the world. They may enjoy what is written, or they may despise it. But, they read it.
Words have power.
I've stated many times that the worst thing that can happen with the paper is to restrict opinions to only one view. I truly believe in the power of discussion and debate, and feel that providing a forum for such views is one of the most important roles we can play.
Not just locally. For our paper is mailed all over the U.S., and our stories, columns and photos are being read and examined all over the world. People are seeing the things we value. They are hearing our voices and understanding that our beliefs and our values are rooted in the same feelings they have. Words have power.
It's important to remember that when we talk to or about one another in the Mason County News, the world is listening. And, they're responding by letting us know that they understand.
Even if they don't like what I said about Adam Lambert.
It’s all just my opinion.