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Blog: BURN NOTICE: DIATRIBE button triggered (01/02/22)

We are now living in a paradoxical time.

Time to quote Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of madness, it was the age of belief, it was the time of unbelief, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing ahead of us, we were all going straight to Heaven, we were all going straight the other way–in short, the period was so like the present period that some of its most vocal authorities insisted that it is received, for good or for ill, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

I should apologize for what I’m about to write, but something is bothering me for a long time.

I don’t like to complain because life is too short and I’ve spent way too much of my life messed up by a few shitty situations I’ve found myself in. For several years I refused to do so. It hasn’t been easy at times, but I’m trying to stay positive.

For 90% of you reading this, the following “rant” is not about you or you.

Wondering what rant means?

I chose it for a very particular reason.

I learned this word a long time ago but never fully understood its meaning. Honestly, I think I was too young to really care at the time.

In my mind, that meant upset.

About 14 years ago, I took the time to research the origins of this word.

What I learned was hard to accept.


Because I complained relentlessly about something that upset me: I knew there had to be something stronger to explain what I was declaiming. My feelings were important and I needed an excuse to ‘bewitch’ why my life sucked.

However, I soon discovered that a rant is not something most people would want to endure, and I HAD it for over 4 years at this point.

DIATRIBE: Roots in Greece, “A pastime of continuous discourse, critical dissertation” or “scholarly discussion”, and I was fine with that. If I had stopped there, I would probably still be “bewitching my life” and forcing everyone I knew to listen.

But no, I wanted to know more…

Plato said that “speech” is literally “the wear and tear of time”. An updated explanation is “a waste of time”.

I could have lectured on my rants back then, and to be honest with myself, I bet there were family and friends who saw me coming and then ran away.

This knowledge made me realize that I hadn’t said a good thing about anything in a long, long time. I had become absorbed in my own personal rant, and it had become my job to force others to listen to me whine about it. To hell with what they had to say or feel, my rant was all that mattered, and I continued every day.

Talk about a time when you suddenly realize that you have lost some of your intellectual integrity.

Your concern for others.

Your humanity.

I was so caught up in my over-the-top drama – my rant – that I became oblivious to other people’s feelings. I was so full of myself that I didn’t care about the people I loved. I couldn’t because anger and venom took over who I was, and my arrogance made my problems the center of everything.

It took a lot of thinking to realize that I had done this to myself. I had to learn to own my problems and not find all the negative things in the world to be “buggered”.

Fast forward to now, and we watch a world, a society descend into the dark side of a pandemic. All the frustration of bitterness plays out on social media as people who would never have behaved like this before go on a rampage and demand that their point of view be the only one; everyone else is either wrong or stupid.

I never imagined something like this would happen in my lifetime.

According to the BOOK of PROVERBS: Pride comes before the fall…

Social media is an absolutely terrible place these days, and if I didn’t have to use it for work, I don’t think I’d even turn it on.

  • While working, I see posts on the Facebook page complaining about my employer posting stories that aren’t FREE.

The Tuesday newspaper is sent FREE to postcodes in Brazil. Other areas are being considered for the future.

The Brazil Times offers many FREE things to the community, especially online. You don’t need to be a subscriber to read a lot, including:



SPECIAL EDITIONS (flip through previously published books, such as Senior Selections/TIMELESS)

SOUVENIRS EDITIONS featuring student achievements


POSTERS and advertisements



COVID-19 data




LOCAL INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW about food pantries, local events of interest, meetings, first responder information and schools.

The staff recently created a PUZZLE book.

And more new things are in the works as 2022 unfolds.

  • BUT – there are always articles that say the cost of the newspaper is too high and “who reads a newspaper anyway”.

Honestly, it all depends on what is important to a person and how they want to use their finances. If something has no perception of value, a person won’t buy it. But, when it has value, people have to realize that there is a COST to everything.

  • There are always articles about how another place has more news or better stories.

For our area, there are many news agencies reporting events throughout the Wabash Valley. However, The Times reported on news and events in OUR COMMUNITY for over 132 years.

The difference between a TV story with at most 60 seconds to two minutes devoted to it and a story written by a journalist can be 30 minutes to a few hours of extensive work to ensure it is factual and interesting.

Many of these organizations have national advertisers who don’t care about cost.

ALSO, a journalist must be paid for his time to do the interview and decipher his notes, write the story, take and process the photos (and sometimes the video), and write the information for each photo/video for print and the Internet.

Like I said, I’m used to that.

But lately, numerous posts accusing Times staff of being all about the “unholy pursuit of the almighty dollar” trigger that rant button in my soul.

NOTE: Can anyone tell me how a small town newspaper will bring about Armageddon?

I want to utter that one really wrong on the computer screen and correct those statements. Not just for what feels like a personal attack on me, but also for my hard-working colleagues.

But I don’t; I am silent because this is no longer what I want to be.

These attacks discourage us all.

To be told that we should volunteer to do our jobs because it’s not fair to post notifications of stories they can’t read for FREE on Facebook is, well, ridiculous.

If you work somewhere and I see an ad on Facebook about it: I can’t demand that you give it to me for FREE. If that’s true, I can’t imagine the chaos that would ensue.

Do you know what a free rider The problem is?

It is a burden created by use or overuse by people who do not pay their “fair share” or pay nothing at all.

Free rider issues can arise in any community, large or small.

Knowing what ultimately happens with a free rider program?

People who attempt to mock or demand the availability of a product or service for free without giving anything in return become CHARGERS WITHOUT BORDERS.

Without the support of people paying for a product or service, it will fail.

As sad as it sounds, as the social media rants continue and gain support, many things in our lives are crumbling from all the negativity.

Soon there will be nothing left of the story, including small town newspapers.