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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Quest for the impossible is what keeps us moving forward

By Cody Littlewood

November 7, 2008 | Why do we as humans always want for that which we can't have? Where does this undying need for the impossible come from? Is it media driven or is it simply human nature? We all feel it whether we realize it or not. That car, that house, that job, or that person of the opposite sex . . . fantasies play a large role in how every person conducts their lives. These fantasies are driven by the want for the impossible.

I personally like women I can't have. Women, that were it not for my oversized, writer's ego, wouldn't even look twice, but yet I strive to enter into relationships with women entirely out of my league. Upon closer examination it is just exploration. The uncharted territory, the new land, the unknown that mystifies us continues to drive our race to pursue the impossible. Exploration has always faced the impossible and through dedication and ingenuity conquered it. We are not a helpless breed and with the drive for the unreachable comes ingenuity in many forms. The end usually justifies the means and we do not let any improbabilities stop us. Because of the results we are OK with this.

People, rational and conservative people, might ask the question, "Why?"

Greatness has always looked to be impossible before it was achieved. Exploration has provided the greatest truths to mankind. Galileo risked his life to tell the world that the earth revolved around the sun. He dared to push the bar simply for human knowledge in an area of science that at the time was contradicting Aristotle. The poets did not write that his better angels were shouted down, but that he risked everything to challenge ideas deemed impossible to overturn. This was exploration at its core. Greatness has always looked to be impossible before it was achieved. The "Why?" is answered by three simple words, "It's what's next."

It is human nature to want for the impossible and the impossible we will have. It is what separates us and advances the race. Courage, while oft hard to find, is essential. Surpassing improbabilities is to be human.

"The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force." (Mein Kampf) Let us not speak of turmoil in our economy, let us speak of progress and education. The doomsayers have not conquered us, only instilled doubt. When the poets write of our generational footprint let them talk of change, progress, and exploration as they wrote of our fathers.


Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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