Sorry. No crochet jorts. Another summer in those ratty cut-offs, bro.

Some days, you’re down, and some days you’re up.
June 3, the local yellow rag decided to write another article about how they are crusading against untruths and “negative propaganda” from local media sources they listed by name. This was one of the rare times anyone’s mentioned this blog/website by name, so…win! Alas, it wasn’t all that flattering so…weep cry cry. We were lumped in with other enemies of the Fourth Estate, and those same mean ol’ commissioners who didn’t renew the “Hope Mills Initiative,” and we were even said to “lack credibility.” It was further stated that our collective intentions were “less than honorable.”

That could have been a damaging blow to one’s psyche in these tough times, depending on the source. Or not, depending on the source. Maybe sometimes we at the Bee are sloppy dressers, or we are messy eaters, or momentarily ungrateful for graces we’ve been given, but that was just gratuitous piling on beyond a healthy “honesty, integrity, leadership” level.

Either way, life went on, and we went on a short trip, and when we got back, we had an email from the same source that had mentioned us pejoratively by name the week before. Curious, we checked it out, but only some things stood out.

So one week, we lack credibility, we have dishonorable intentions, you shouldn’t read us because we’re all trash…but a week later, it turns out the “honesty, integrity, leadership” source now says they had not actually even read our social media posts. So count that as a “win” maybe? Sure. If you give the whole idea as it’s been proposed much stock. It’s all just Kabuki theater.

To what can we attribute the turnaround? We were on vacation most of that time, doing nothing. (Maybe that’s the secret? Contact us if you know the secret.) Of course, it doesn’t make logical sense to throw the Hope Mills Bee (or the Chatter, or the Outlook) onto a burn pile just to watch us burn with the others, then ask me to contribute to your efforts based on anonymous recommendations, but whatever, as the kids say. It’s like saying “Hey, you do shoddy work and you’re a dishonorable person, but can you crochet me some jorts before the 4th of July, we’ll be nice this time.” Looks like another summer in those ratty cutoffs, bro.

It’s likely that a chunk of the “credibility” canard comes from the fact that the source at the yellow rag thinks the Hope Mills Bee is some sort of secretive entity. It’s not, and it’s never been. We just don’t put our names on every post, because if you had read what we do share, it would be consistently the same person’s name. There aren’t a phalanx of people contributing, it’s usually just me sharing other sources’ stories, and that’s fine.

So it may as well just be the same blog name each time ( and we’ll save the internets the extraneous, repetitive byline attribution. But our initials show up on the blog posts, sometimes I share stories on my personal facebook page, a chunk of the name is in my email address and domain name someone gave to the paper. and plenty of others are familiar enough with social media to have already found who I am, so the information is not that hard to narrow down for the scant few who really want to try a little bit. All you had to do was ask the past four or five years. Then again, there’s the idea that information you work to find is usually sweeter than information you’re just handed out. I kind of miss the card catalogs at the library myself.

It’s painful enough that we at the Bee (and other local sources and commissioners who try to show the sides that don’t always get shown) have to endure the excruciatin’ profound ag-o-nee! of having rash, uninformed judgments made about us and being lumped in with other proposed enemies…mostly based on someone’s lack of effort.

It’s more painful on a community level, because there are still people who will automatically believe what the lack of effort/quick to judge source will throw out about anyone else. They will not question a thing in the process, they will demand answers to questions they think are riddles, and ignore other obvious conclusions, and they will end up missing out on a lot of truthful facts and connections that the “trusted source” never makes. They’ll just go with their gut, even when their gut is inaccurate or ill-informed, and they’ll end up being wrong time and time again, like at elections, which keep being brought up because changing the commissioners is the goal–not providing you with information that will help you. It’s all to protect the queen.

Sources who really don’t care about “honesty, integrity, leadership” beyond the jingoistic/mantra level will claim something is “true.” However, when they’re basing it solely on their feelings and assumptions, not actual information, it’s just that–feelings and assumptions. It does not help anyone to mislabel “opinion” as “fact.” Usually people do that to help themselves, not you. Rest assured: you could be next in line for their feelings and assumptions. So don’t let your conclusions on any given future topic vary from theirs. They will always protect their own interests however they can.

It rarely helps anyone to believe a lie. Unless we’re talking children or old people. Usually it helps the person who tells the lie. And that’s only a surface win, it never lasts and rarely spreads to an entire community. It also never helps anyone to be kept at a distance because the inaccurate judgment and criticism might just become “too much bother.” Like we’ve said before, if they break down the system to the point where even fewer people pay attention enough to vote in November, it just makes it easier for the traditional good ol’ back door politics to keep overwhelming the basic idea of moral right and wrong when it comes to “honesty, integrity, leadership.”

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