Friday, January 02, 2009

Today is the Future.

Today is the Future.

Happy 2009. Now time to get to work. I’ve been working on the next installment of my radio show State of the Re:UNION Jacksonville Bold New City of the South for a couple weeks now. The process of creating a show is a weird mixture of excitement, fear, and logistics. I’m embracing it, but just like every show Jacksonville presents a challenge. Here, I’d say the biggest challenge comes in three areas.

1. I was on my way to report a story, ran into on of my favorite spots the Burrito Gallery, to grab something to eat came out to my car 10 minutes later to find that my car had been broken into and all of my audio equipment was stole. The thieves must have been watching me when I parked because I made sure all my doors were locked and put my bag under the seat with a jacket on top of it. They went right for the bag, leaving everything else in tact. At first I was pissed. But a week later I can look back on it and be glad. I’m happy because right now, I’m sad to say the city I love so much is in the throws of violence. It’s everywhere. People are being killed for less then nothing. If I’d left the Burrito Gallery five minutes earlier, I might have caught the thieves, and they might have caught me with some bullets. Eight hundred dollars worth of equipment is not worth mine or anyone else’s life.
2. This is my home city. You’d think it would be easier to do a show on your home territory but in some ways that familiarity is the enemy. It makes objectivity hard. The staff of SOTRU and I have spent weeks thinking about the stories we would tell, how could we sum up a city we know so well, we almost have too many ideas.
3. I love SOTRU: Motor City Rebound. But there are things in the show that I want to do better. This is our development process, so we are allowing ourselves to experiment with form and content. With Detroit, I feel like we didn’t get the grit of the city, we got so many stories of optimism, which was great, but I think it would have been better to have a little more balance.

These three challenges are going to make this show special. I’ve decided that this episode needs to be extremely personal. Like I must take ownership of this city, the good and bad. I have a personal history with this place, some days I love it, other days I want to run as fast and far as I can to get away from it. So my goal is to take that contradiction and give it life.


Candomom said...

Hey Al,

I look forward to SOTRU episode on Jacksonville. You and I both know this can be a wonderful place but like you I have had my moments when I want run screaming from this town.

Much love for 2009,

kelly pope said...

I think I know how you feel. Maybe it's naive of me, but in some ways, I think this must be what it's like for everyone. Not just in Jacksonville. I love your stories, and I look forward to you newest installment.