"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."
Though George Orwell's well-known quote was inspired by his observation that it is very common in politics for inconvenient facts to be sacrificed on the altar of knee-jerk ideology and/or intellectual laziness, I think it also inadvertantly captures a truth about our inreasingly global lives: To paraphrase Orwell, to see what is in the shadows of the 353-foot Sappi smokestack is a constant struggle.
In other words, media is so ubiquitous and so far-reaching today it is not inaccurate to say most of us are more familiar with the events and cultures of places we've never even visited than we are of the city that surrounds us for most of living and sleeping hours. That thought, in the proverbial nutshell, is why I launched this Web site (and its late sister-site, RiverbankRepublic.com) last January. And that's why I continue today.
The goal when I started was to give the Paper City a streaming narrative that didn't previously exist. So, besides focusing on the decisions coming from 2 York Street and Room 114, I wanted this site to be a place where Westbrook's annoying, eclectic, humorous, mundane, quirky, sublime, and tragic qualities were explored and debated. And though I recognize this site has largely played the role of news aggregate since I began grad school in January, that goal still remains. Which is where you, dear reader, comes in.
I envision this site as the place where all Paper City things are considered. A place where reviews of the city's Northside's Italians are posted just above, say, the latest news on the Pike v. Idexx donnybrook. A place where self-promoting bowling alley owners weigh in on the best Westbrook has to offer just above a post in which a self-promoting legislator lays out his plans for governance. And, most important, a place where my shoddy perspective on the city is trumped by smarter takes, whether it be "Ideas for a Better Westbrook" or why Mr. Bagel has the best homefries in the city.
I've been lucky to attract commenters who are thoughtful and civil, so I'd love it if I could attach names to similar takes and slap them on better real estate for all to read. Contributions or inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call me at (207) 766-8554. All thoughts, great and small, are appreciated.
- John C.L. Morgan