During my journalism career, I worked at news organizations including CNN. I loved the profession, but sometimes I hated knowing that I was delivering bad news to people. We all say, “No news is good news” but, really, good news isn’t usually news at all. (I think only The Onion would run a story saying, “School buses safely deliver many students to and from school.”) In journalism, one often deals with dire topics. Even when I worked at celebrity-oriented People magazine, my biggest story was the awful small-plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife and her sister. One of the reasons I became a jewelry designer is that I’d rather make people feel beautiful and special instead of depressed and scared.
On the other hand, in my old line of work, I used to feel useful during times of crisis. Now I find myself working on fashion-related posts and feeling helpless while the television spews endless bad news. I suppose there’s nothing to do but carry on. I remember when I walked up to Irving Place from the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001. I was amazed to see people walking around and even eating lunch outside on a gorgeous day instead of acting like the world had come to an end. It was surreal and reassuring at the same time. I started to think that perhaps the world hadn’t come to an end. I even picked up my dry cleaning the next day, even though I had thought I would never need clean clothes again, what with the world coming to an end and all.
A week after 9/11, Graydon Carter, the brilliant editor of Vanity Fair, declared, “I think it’s the end of the age of irony.” But irony survived and it’s probably for the best if the human race muddles on in its normal, ridiculous way. So even though I’m extremely distressed by what’s happening so close to me and will look to make helpful comments when I can, I’m also going to resume my regularly scheduled blog programming.
Before I do that, here are some links for anyone who wants to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy. (Remember, sometimes there’s nothing at all you can do right away, though you might be able to help later.) To answer the many kind people who have asked, my household — MrB, me, two dogs and one cat — is absolutely fine. My neighborhood is like Irving Place on 9/11. It’s as if nothing has happened, except the sidewalks are packed with people who can’t get to work and so are roaming around the neighborhood. In the 20+ years I’ve lived in this area, I’ve never seen so many trick-or-treaters on Halloween. (Schools are closed all week and parents are desperate to get their children out of the apartment.) As for my parents, they are staying in my neighborhood because their town in New Jersey still has no power. They had severe tree damage there. I told you trees are evil. My sister and her family live near Chicago so they’re unaffected by the storm. I’m hoping my many friends who live in places including downtown Manhattan; Brooklyn; Hoboken, N.J.; and Riverdale, N.Y., get their power back soon, for a start.
And now we go on.