Editor's Corner/In avoidance of an introduction

Hello. I'm supposed to make some kind of opening statement here. I hate mission statements. Or rather, I hate having to make them. The "Declaration of Principles" scene in "Citizen Kane" is a wonderful scene (well, what scene in "Citizen Kane" isn't?), but years later Charlie Kane's best friend, Jedediah Leland, mails the historic "document" back to the now-aged editor because Kane has betrayed the principles he himself declared. It just occurred to me (I honestly wasn't thinking about this when I began this paragraph) that for a few years in the early '70s I wrote movie reviews under the name "Jed Leland." Now I look more like Charlie Kane. Read into that what you will.

But the thing I hate about mission statements and introductions - especially self-introductions - is that they are, or ought to be, superfluous. Either what you're doing is worthwhile or it isn't. Either people can see and understand and appreciate what you're doing, or they can't, which means it must not be worth doing, or you aren't doing it right.

I have been a reader and a writer for as much of my life as a human can reasonably be expected to have been, and some kind of editor, official or unofficial, for only a little less time. In the late '60s (how old is this guy anyway!), I was working for Seattle's premier art-movie exhibitor, Jim Selvidge, and newly in charge of getting out the "mailers" that sold our rich cinematic fare. The production part of the job had shifted to a little newspaper called The Outlook, which served the Wallingford community and operated out of the quite cozy cellar of a house a few blocks from where I write these words. I didn't know The Outlook, or any other community newspaper, but I pretty instantly fell in love with it, with its warm, unassuming editor Stan Stapp, and with the atmosphere of amiable collegiality - family, really - that Stan effortlessly fostered. I even fell in love with, all right, the paper's mission to its community. In another life, I thought, it'd be swell to be part of an operation like this.

Whaddaya know.

As the philosopher W.C. Fields so astutely noted, "There comes a time in the life of every man when he has to take the bull by the tail and face the situation." That time is now upon me, and I for one am tickled.

Editor Richard T. Jameson can be reached at qanews@nwlink.com

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