Wednesday, October 19, 2011

15 minutes of minute fame

Actually, it'll be more like six or seven minutes, but it's something, right?

The managing editor of the local newspaper called me up half an hour ago, said he liked the piece I sent in a couple of days ago, said he would run it, and then asked if I would be willing to be the first interview in a series of radio bits the newspaper was planning.

My mind, like some dithering starlet, went into overdrive: What will I say, what should I wear ... it was ludicrous. The article, which I had to reread just now, is about trust -- the trust whose devaluing is on trial as the Occupy Wall Street protests continue ... the trust that trickles down to your street and mine and is too often manipulated instead of honored.

A lot of years ago, when I was a gung-ho Zen Buddhist, I was assigned by the Zen center I belonged to to go on the radio to talk about Buddhism. I was all a-flutter and, the night before, rehearsed the basic tenets I supposed would be covered in the interview. I was caught absolutely flat-footed when the first question out of the interviewer's mouth was something like, "What about reincarnation?" Reincarnation simply didn't make any difference to me, but I realized it made a lot of difference to those who had a passing acquaintance with, but little understanding of, Buddhism. I floundered and flopped like a fish on the dock. I don't know what I said and I sure as hell don't want to know.

Naturally, I don't want to do that again. This time my starlet wants to be the suave sophisticate, dispensing sensible information left, right and center. This time ....


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