Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up and give up. Just quit worrying. I worry about things too much. I worry about how our city and county and, to a lesser extent, our school system are functioning.
And I worry about the fact that my worrying makes me an outlier. No one else seems to worry. Actually, others do, indeed, worry. But those folks are few and far between.
One of my jobs as a local, weekly newspaper editor is to keep up with what our local governments are doing and, too often, I’m worried about what is going on.
And too often, our governments don’t want me to know what’s going on. Nor do they particularly care if the public — the public they serve — knows what’s going on.
Not all of our government officials feel that way, but way too many of them do.
Years ago, I heard a woman here in Hazlehurst proclaim that what we needed is a few selective funerals. [Grammar Police: Should that be what we needed “are” a few selective funerals or what we needed “is” a few selective funerals?]
Her funeral occurred years ago and that funeral, some would say, was needed for our community to shed the confining chains that were keeping us from progressing.
I learned years ago — and I’ve been around a few years to be sure — that for every needed funeral there’s a new unneeded birth. Problem makers don’t just die off — they breed new problem makers.
Of course, I’m not oblivious to the fact that some would suggest I’m a problem maker. I disagree, of course, but then so do all the problem makers of the past, today and the future.
In the last week or so, I’ve been made acutely aware of the problems with our city government. It’s a mess. Or, as author Cormac McCarthy wrote in his adapted-for-the-movies novel, “No Country For Old Men,” — “If it ain’t, it’ll do until a mess gets here.”
[As an aside, “No Country For Old Men” is one of my all-time favorite movies. I liked it so much I watched it 4-5, maybe even 6 times. Then, as if I couldn’t get enough, I checked out the book from our local library and read it. I’ve heard often that movies adapted from books are, as a rule, not as good as the book. But “No Country For Old Men” — the movie — follows “No Country For Old Men — the book — almost verbatim.]
Anyway, I say all that to say that our city government is the laughing stock — or worse — of neighboring communities and also of out-of-town Ledger subscribers who shake their heads at the goings on in our fair city.
When I first arrived in Hazlehurst more than 50 years ago, my predecessor, Robert Lamb, informed me that I would find that Hazlehurst is 10 years behind everyone else. I didn’t believe that for years. And for a long time I continued with my doubts about his statement.
But with the city council shenanigans for the last few years, I think Editor Lamb was being conservative.