Much to my chagrin, one of the most popular sections of the Southeast Trader Express is the Cheers and Jeers section.
I am in the distinct minority in this office — and by minority I mean the only person — when it comes to my dislike of Cheers and Jeers.
Without trying to sound uppity, I think they are beneath us. To me, it's something you expect in a 12 page paper out of Podunk. I know we're not some massive metropolis here but I think things like that belong elsewhere.
My other problem with Cheers and Jeers is really two in the same. I don't entirely love the fact they are anonymous and in turn, I don't love what that level of anonymity brings out.
We get a lot of nice comments that people would likely have no problem attaching their name to. But we also get a lot of venomous comments that are made because the person making the jeer can do it anonymously. Some of them have names to them but the more negative ones are submitted without a name in all manner of ways. I found one sticking in the front door of our office one day.
Giving those people a chance to hide behind a curtain has basically created a soapbox for cowards.
Case in point was the June 22 edition of the Trader. One writer wrote "Jeers to Estevan for being such a lame place to live. Seriously." I love how the writer needed to add the "seriously" at the end to make their point.
Now I'm guessing that if the person behind that comment had to put their name to it, it's very likely they wouldn't have made it.
But that comment also leads me to another thought. I would humbly suggest to the writer that if Estevan is indeed as "seriously" lame as you proclaim it to be, then it's time for you to leave.
Do not pass go, do not collect your $200, do us all a favour and leave.
Too harsh? I don't think so.
You see, people like this generally offer little in the way of anything positive to a community. They sit back with their petty little complaints and project the misery of their life onto the current city they happen to be in. Really, if this person were living anywhere else in the province, it would probably be lame too. In other words, it's a reflection of the person, not necessarily the community.
And there are others like this. You hear them with their insipid little comments. To them, I would also offer my same advice: Leave.
I'm not naïve to the fact our community has some issues. But name me one that doesn't.
I was just recently in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for four days. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. I was completely shocked because the obvious stereotype is steel mills and industrial blight. The opposite couldn't have been truer.
Still, I'm sure if we were to go and poll the citizens, they would have their issues.
These spiteful, hateful, petty little people who try to bring down the rest of us need to go. As a community, when we hear comments like that, we need to straighten these people out or, as I stated above, tell them to hit the road.
There are tons of people in this community dedicated to making it a better place to live. They have given hours of their time in a world where time is becoming the most precious of commodities. They don't do it for any reward or publicity — OK, there are some that do — they do it because they want to make Estevan a better place to live — not sit back on their ass and send in their spiteful little comments to, sigh, Cheers and Jeers.
There are all kinds of people who want to be here and want to do what they can so others will too.
So if these people don't want to be here, ask them to leave. We need the space for those who do.