So I got a phone call this past weekend.
It was unexpected.
It was a stranger.
His name was Patrick.
He was a "journalist." The almighty editor in fact.
Normally, I might replace his name to spare his identity, but he lost that privilege. Let me preface this by saying I'm the editor of my school's news publication. We just moved online and I'm quite proud of the collaborative effort of our team. This being said, as editor, I feel as though I am held to certain standards. Though they may be self-enforced, I feel as though I should hold myself to be professional, respectful, and to deliver the news as best I know how. So back to this phone call.
Introductions were made and it was established that this fellow was calling to ask me a few questions about Arthur. Though I had recently written an article about him myself, it was still strange to be interviewed about it.
Deep Breath in. Ok. Go ahead.
"Obviously with Arthur leaving, you have the most to lose out of everyone... How does it make you feel knowing that?"
I sat dumbfounded for a second as I processed and reprocessed this question. I was stunned. Appalled. Befuddled. Did this kid really just ask me this?
I was less suprised by the question than I was by the actual tone in his voice. It was condescending. Belittling. and frankly, rude.
I answered it the best I knew how and remained a tad offput for the rest of the interview. As a journalist, I knew I had to be professional, but I wanted nothing more than to punch this kid in the gullet.
I talked to Arthur about the interview, then spoke with my journalism instructor. I was still dumbfounded by the caliber of respect that was so..rudimentary.
I pushed it to the back of my mind, but the urge for a well-deserved heavy handed straight returned when Arthur forwarded me a copy of this article, if you can call it that.
Arthur apologized in advance. I knew it had to be bad. I read the article. I reread the article. and I thought to myself,
Even looking past the grammatical errors it was unbearable. It used logical fallacies. Quotes were misquoted. Horrible things were implied. Hard work was discredited. There was misrepresentation. It was nonsensical.
I sat in disbelief, I sat on my hands to restrain the burning urge within my fingertips to write an awfully strongly worded letter to the editor..OH WAIT. Everyone mentioned in the article was made out to be..different.
I knew Arthur could handle it and he politely asked for corrections to be made, and though some were, a very unfortunate revision was still published online today.
I knew this would happen sooner or later. I knew that something would be published about this journey that would not only be skewed, but well, skewered.
I know that I'll have to be thick-skinned and tolerant for those who butcher reality and the written word, but this made me realize how hard this next 15 months will be. I care about Arthur far too much to be bothered by public ordeals like this; I need to get used to this. I just wish everyone could see not only him, but this whole journey for what it really is.
But I just have to remember to breathe and take everything in stride, just as Arthur does far more often.