I've been so inner focused on how to tell the Summer of Murphy documentary and shots still not shot, ideas not fully fleshed out, that I kinda lost sight of thanking everyone who has been a big big part of it, even though it seems that's the way it should be. I mean gratitude, honor, glory, sacrifice, love, beauty, grace - these words mean nothing if they're not consistently applied in one's everyday life but if you're not careful the can consume every aspect of you.
And that's what I struggle with. How to tell this, our story. I used to think that my enemy was the word 'canine cancer' because it automatically presupposed a difference to human cancer even though science has disproven that notion.
On the Tour and in every interview I did, when asked what message I wanted to deliver, it was just that. Cancer is cancer and it's killing all of us, sparing no species, and that journalists would be remiss if they propagated that misconception.
But, oh, they did. Every single article, interview, and TV spot on the Tour was framed out as a story about canine cancer despite my insistence. Did you know it's an industry standard that newspapers write at the 7th grade level? We are children to them and that's how they speak to us.
I've changed a lot this past year and have begun to accept that as a spokesman for a cause, fighting against the greatest pandemic ever, I must necessarily be a social critic and I'm starting to step up to that responsibility.
It's a role I didn't want, still don't, and sickens me at times. Trust me, my few trusted advisers see the brunt of it and it ain't a beauty. And upon occasion, you witness it here and previously on my now deactivated Facebook account. I'll get to that later.
You know, I grew up in a very erudite household with a high expectation of education. I read a lot and learned a lot but there was always someone I invariably met who thought I was arrogant because I used 'big' words. They never got to know me well enough to know that ego had nothing to do with it. I love the English language, its origins and history. Hell, I love words in any language. To think that someone came up with a word like 'excoriate' fascinates me. De Profundis - what a powerful phrase.
Ed and I were talking the other day about one of my favorite authors, Samuel Clemens. He's better known to most of you by a different name and that got me thinking. Why did he change his name and why did he choose that nom de plume?
There's a lot of sadness, despair, and disappointment I deal with on a daily basis but we don't get to pick and choose what we like about our life mission and what we don't. It's a package deal.
I'm grateful for each and every one of you. Please don't ever confuse the one for the other. But I'll never talk to you like 7th graders here and just to spare you the suspense, there are lots of tough conversations to come.
But I'll try to do a better, more consistent job of sharing the great beauties of the world as I bear witness to them. Today, it's Bach's Prelude in G