I learned the seriousness of the word deadline during my work in journalism while living on Cape Cod. Of course people working in science, as well as in law and other professions, deal with deadlines, and so does everybody in their daily lives. Still, the deadlines in journalism are the harshest, I think. When as a writer I did not meet my deadline for the printed newspaper, my article was dead — it simply was not printed. That was it!
In English the word has the image of death, which is difficult to translate into my native tongue. The Polish word termin has many levels of harshness and not just one. The expression termin ostateczny means ‘final’ rather than ‘deadly’. Actually, I learned that the English word originated in this country during the Civil War. It was a real line, drawn in the dirt or marked by a fence restricting prisoners in Civil War camps. They were warned, according to Houghton Mifflin Word Origins, “If you cross this line you’re dead.” It was through the newspaper business, however, that the word deadline became used and understood as it is today.
Many deadlines can be changed or moved a bit — an appearance in court, the date of a flight or a performance on stage — but in journalism it is next to impossible! So I wish more of our Senators and Representatives had a background in journalism rather than in law or business. Maybe then they would take as deadly serious the date of August 2nd that is looming over this country. The partisan fight over the debt ceiling is dangerous. I can’t help but blame the Republican Party for the current stalemate, and I agree with the following statement from the latest editorial in The Nation magazine:
“The Republicans have once again shown themselves to be a party, to paraphrase Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent, for the 1 percent. It is a party that accepts no new taxes, no closing of loopholes, no crackdowns on overseas tax havens and no increase in corporate tax rates, even as the biggest corporations pay little or no taxes on billions of profits. It is a party that embraces savage cuts in the social safety net but then draws a line in the sand to protect the wealthy.”
I simply couldn’t resist making the above comment, but also wanted to tell you something about my own deadlines.
Every other week I write a new post for this blog and today happened to be my deadline. I almost missed it being preoccupied with getting ready for our (David’s and my) annual trip to the Cape. The deadline for the trip has been changed several times because of many commitments I have to fulfill before our departure. At this moment I feel overtired and frustrated and dream about having some time off from all my responsibilities. That is impossible, of course, but some ease can be achieved.
In order to meet my commitment to this blog and at the same time to work on an important publishing project (while on the Cape), plus to have time for my friends and beach visits, I have decided that my August and September posts for this blog will be a bit different. Instead of the usual essay with a few photographs I will post my photographic observations from the trip with just a few words. I truly hope you will enjoy them.
So tomorrow I am closing my studio and leaving behind sunny Tucson for two months.
Thank you all for reading this blog and special thanks to those who take time for writing comments.
Good luck in reducing some of your deadlines! Have some fun this summer.
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Text and photos copyright © 2011 by Alicja Mann.Explore posts in the same categories: Feelings, Opinions, Photo stories, Thoughts, Travels comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.