Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So yesterday and the day before I was telling folks how moved I was about Walter Cronkite and his life, and that it inspired me to make some minor changes to my life--mainly spending less time on the computer. Some people commended my decision, others told me it was a knee jerk reaction (a GFY award for them)and most people were indifferent and did not say anything which is fine by me. Then we have this one special reaction.

Yesterday, one person read my piece on Cronkite and my reaction to it and said, "Who is this guy and what is the significance?". Now, I can certainly understand someone not knowing who Cronkite was prior the coverage surrounding his death. He's been out of the public eye for sometime, and he hasn't been a staple on television since the early 80s. Yes he's been on tv for various interviews numerous times since then, but that didn't provide him with the exposure that being on network tv every night gives you. But on every damn network since Friday evening when he died, Cronkite tributes, interviews and retrospectives have been online, on tv and in print. Even if you tune in every night to watch Michael Jackson death investigation coverage, you can still accidentally roll up some Cronkite footage. Not this person.

Still, I am living in the era of the high road, and instead of clowning her and making her feel stupid (which I've done with folks before, but that's just immature), I politely explained who he is and what his significance was, and she thanked me. I actually felt pretty good myself for being mature, but of course I'm probably undoing it all by calling attention to this situation again. I was just a bit incredulous that's all. Plus in these slow blogging times, that whole situation was a gold mine. If you're reading this, don't get [completely] offended. Its not like you don't know what I'm about.

I would like to end this entry with a quote I read yesterday. The quote is by Chuck Klosterman, and he was talking about Johnny Carson, but Walter Cronkite's name could easily be inserted. This will be the last day I talk about Cronkite like this I promise.

"I think there could be another person like Johnny Carson, or at least another person who possesses his collection of qualities. What there will never again be is a thing that's like "Johnny Carson". And the reason I put Carson's name in quotes is because the idea of "Johnny Carson" is much different than who he actually was as a person. What this means is that another Carson could exist, but no one would care (or at least as much). And this is not because society changed, and it's not because our values are different; this is because we all possess the ability to stop "Johnny Carson" from happening and that is exactly what we choose to do. And this makes us consciously happier, but unconsciously sadder. Choice makes us depressed. We just don't realize it."

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