During the last three and a half years, it has been a privilege and a joy to serve my hometown as an assistant to the Mayor. I rarely write about my daily work, but I can state, unequivocally, that it has been an incredibly rewarding experience, day in and day out.

I promise, I’m not just saying this: I consider myself blessed to work for one of the most magnanimous and brilliant people I’ve ever met– and alongside a diverse team of people who care deeply for their community. Each and every one of these people have, by virtue of their job, opened themselves up to public criticism and ridicule, and all of them have handled themselves with the utmost dignity and integrity. Believe me, it’s not always easy, particularly in the blogosphere, an arena in which anonymous commentators can lob scurrilous and hurtful accusations without any notion of accountability.

I’ve always treated my personal blog as a refuge and a hobby, an unlocked journal about my own impressions on life here in Louisiana.

To be sure, I haven’t shied from controversy, and on more than one occasion, I’ve had to walk back statements I’ve made.

I’ve learned that sometimes, particularly when you’re trying to respond and react to the world around you, things can be dynamic; facts can change; the story can shift. I’ve learned that there is a time and a place for everything.

And recently, I’ve learned that people are actually paying regular attention to what I publish on my personal website and that some in the local mainstream media think my commentary can be newsworthy, particularly if I say something I subsequently admit to be a mistake.

Although I earnestly believe our local media should hold others (and themselves) to the same standards of accountability, I’ve never once attempted to excuse my own responsibility, even when it comes to things I publish and retract from my personal website. I take full responsibility.

I own my mistakes; no one else does or should be forced to.

I also now have a much clearer understanding of how our local media operates– what they say “off the record” about their own decision-making process, the way in which they can purposefully and easily manufacture controversy.

In a small town like Alexandria, it can be a little disheartening: It’s much easier to put people down than to build them up.

It’s made even easier when you are encouraged to mine your stories from an anonymous and unaccountable blogosphere.

I wish I could say, “It comes with the territory,” but that’s not the truth.

For better or worse, the truth requires us to bust down the fourth wall, but try as I might, I doubt it will happen any time soon.

10 thoughts

  1. I’ve never seen such immaturity, hatred, and outright stupidity in a blog (T.E.A. Party blogs excluded) in my life. The nihil ad rem use of Google images and unsubtle attempts at humor show about as much professionalism as a Rob Blagojevich or Joe Wilson, but how can you blame them!? After all, small town politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

    1. First, Ashanti Brown, we’re not “fellow bloggers.” Second, I’m not a “pawn in a zero-sum game.” Third, I’m not “sad.”

      Fourth and finally, I don’t trust or believe in the integrity or truthfulness of anyone who bases their assumptions on JacquesBarack or believes that elections should be debated along racial lines.

      Grow up.

  2. Lamar,
    The mistake you made was to assume that certain local politcal players are capable of engaging in such civilized behavior as: honesty, humility, class, dignity, fairness, and even original and creative thinking. One of these characters wakes up each morning fully believing old Dixie never died. Hey Greg! The confederacy is still dead! Your side lost.

    Keep up the good work Lamar.

  3. Much “ado” about nothing eh?? Well that says a mouthful about something..a whole lot of people waste their time with things some consider as “nothing” everyday! Again I say to you Lamar..KUDOS!!! Whether any individual may think your contribution is “nothing” or “something” regardless…we still chose where we give our attention place to…& that speaks loudly for itself, above all else! HATERS come with the territory!!! It’s a pair of shoes all too many put on everyday…sad but true : )

  4. It’s the conundrum all bloggers face. We blog about what we know, and what we usually know the most about is where we spend the majority of our days: at work. If you blog nice things about your co-workers, boss and employer, you will be accused of being a lackey. If you blog not so nice things about them, you will be subject to disciplinary action. I wish there was a happy ending to this story, but there is not. There will always be friction for most bloggers.

    There are bloggers who write about sports, the weather, what they ate for lunch and housekeeping tips. But I don’t read those blogs. I read blogs that offer something of substance, something of insight, and something worth reading. That’s why I read CenLamar.

    Keep up the good work and always follow your instincts. Peace,

    Tim

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