This is my blog and I can say anything I want.
That was the attitude I took when I started this adventure after I was sent out to pasture by the Daily News, the newspaper I loved for 23 years and where I found success and fulfillment.
It’s two years later now and this is my 69th birthday. I’ve got no regrets. This is the freest and happiest time of life and this is still my blog and I’ve said a lot of things I felt like saying and wanted to say.
This is a selfish thing I’m doing. Whether anybody reads what I write, whether it has any impact, matters far less to me than the actual act of describing what I know and what I believe in public in my own voice.
It’s hard to believe I’ve posted nearly 1,000 articles, most too long-winded and self-indulgent and over-the-top but I enjoyed doing them all. They all came right from my heart, right or wrong.
Personally, I’ve found the thousands of comments — supportive, critical or irrelevant — far more interesting than anything I’ve written. They are part of the public conversation that raises the consciousness of all of us.
I’ve learned a lot from all of you and learned a lot about myself, about how far I’ve come in being able to speak the truth I see and how far I have to go.
In a broader sense, this is the time I always dreamed would someday come, when real change is possible, when the long-term failure of our political parties and powerful institutions is exposed for all to see and we can begin to have the kind of public conversation about who we are as individuals and as a society, and how we rebuild our city and our nation to better reflect and serve us.
LA is my story, my passion, my love.
We can fix LA and bring true democracy to our city. We cannot do much directly about all the world’s problems but we can change LA, and if we do, it will serve as a beacon to others to stand up for what they believe and they want their communities to be like.
We don’t have to agree on everything or anything for that matter except to respect their right of all us to be heard and to have a chance to affect the policies by which we are governed.
Much of the criticism leveled at what I write is that it is overstated, intentionally provocative, polemical, to throw words at it. Many think the journalism should not be overlaid with point of view and the commentary should encourage a civil civic conversation.
If the crises we are facing were not so serious, if they were merely problems and challenges, I would agree.
My vision is much darker. Radical changes are occurring in the economy, the environment is threatened by overpopulation and over-consumption, and ancient hatreds have inflamed violence and war.
I am endlessly surprised by how many can look at what is happening and still seem so comfortable with what is going on as if simple tinkering will fix things.
My own view is that I am part of a generation that has taken more than it has given, that has too often turned selfishness and greed into virtues, that has looked at wealth as proof of success as a person.
So be it. I prefer to remain a provocateur, to inform and incite people to action and not just engage in endless talk, to subscribe to a tenet of journalism that holds the mission is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
Anyway, I am thankful that anyone is paying attention and grateful to have connected with so many remarkable people who have fought for their beliefs and worked so hard for so long in the face of the indifference of so many.
Thank you all.