When one posts to the interwebs it’s natural to wonder where it all goes. There’s the obligatory audience: parentals, siblings, friends, but how many actual readers are out there? I don’t think about it much when I’m just prattling on. But living in a small town and enjoying a very moderate amount of power as a small ‘C’ celebrity makes me think twice about setting my name to anything controversial or incendiary. Which is a shame because much of what I’m impassioned to write about could be construed as incendiary (especially in this podunk town (see?!)) Besides, I’m pretty good at it.
So there’s this restaurant review blog I’ve been working on and its mandate is to bring honesty–brutal if necessary–to assessing local eateries. Nanaimoites tend to accept whatever is given: good enough is just fine and we’re happy to heap praise upon anyone who steps up to do a thing regardless of how well they do it. But how will anyone meet–let alone raise–the bar if consumers don’t hold businesses to account for what they serve up? Good enough just isn’t good enough, not when you’re parting me with hard-earned cash. I’m just not going to accept “that’s how it is in Nanaimo” as an excuse any more.
My partner and I recently reviewed a restaurant and it was not good. We ate, we wrote, and we each posted a hearty “Fail”. Against my better judgement and at the urging of a friend I later returned to the scene of the crime. And I swear that one of the waitresses (one who was on duty at the time of the Fail-meal) was looking at my strangely. The paranoia kicks in and I wonder if she’s read the scathing (though entirely honest) review? It’s a brand new blog so how would she have found it? Does anyone actually read this stuff? Whether she did or didn’t it hammered the point home that what I’m sending out there could, in fact, come back to bite me in the form of icy stares or more.
This begs the question of personal responsibility in journalism, citizen or otherwise: can I live with what I’m writing? Am I speaking the truth? Is my integrity intact? Would I say these things, albeit more kindly, to someone’s face? Yes.
So I’ll write what I write, the good and the bad about local restaurants or anything else that strikes me. And if it comes back to haunt me, so be it. I’ll be able to sleep with myself at night. And at least I will have said what I think.