Sunday, January 9, 2011

The End

First of all, I'd like to thank those of you who posted legitimate comments over the years. I'd also like to thank the people I interviewed and my friend and former professor Stacy Spaulding who encouraged me to blog about Columbia.

I started Columbia Blog Project in the spring of 2009. Back then I was a journalism major at Towson University and the blog was for a class. After the class ended and I graduated, my fervor for community journalism waned. Two years later, I still receive a legitimate comments and they're still nice to read.

Things are different now, I've moved out of Columbia and on with my life. James Rouse said Columbia was a garden to grow people in but the gardeners leave much to be desired. The pioneer mindset has changed and Columbia has become a dystopia.

Now I live and work in China and I have no inclination to return for many years. I'm happy here. Thanks to my Virtual Private Network (VPN), I'm still able to access Blogger. I've decided to devote my efforts to writing about life in China, the transition, the culture and the experience.

I encourage you, the readers to keep in touch. My email (thegonzojournalist@gmail) hasn't changed. nor has my desire to hear from you.

Zai Jian,


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thanks & Peace

It's been about eight months since I've posted anything. Anyone reading this is probably wondering whether or not I've gone the way of Dave Chappelle? Well I haven't fled to Africa or had a breakdown, I've just moved on to other pursuits and out of Columbia. I grew up in Owen Brown and for a while, I really enjoyed living there. Over the last two years however, things have changed and so have my attitudes about Columbia.

In hindsight, I've had a lot of fun writing Columbia Blog Project and reading the comments you've left me, both positive, negative and completely off topic. If you'd like to keep tabs on me, you can find me on my website.

Thanks & Peace,

Jack N. Cole IV

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Lie We All Live In

Earlier this week, my next-door neighbors Devon and Trina Ward noticed the letter N sprayed into their front lawn, accompanied by an empty container of Skoal, beer bottles and chicken bones. Soon after it became mailbox conversation and sidewalk small talk.

On Friday, police officers were canvassing the street, interviewing neighbors about the unfortunate incident. I myself got a ring at the doorbell from officer Rodriguez. None of us had noticed anything out of the ordinary. The police downplayed the incident and advised the Wards to cover it up.


The Wards reached out through other channels; local papers, WBAL TV-11 News and myself.
Melissa Carlson and John Cassini from WBAL interviewed the Wards, my mother and myself. Do I feel safe in my own neighborhood, they asked.

"Its the lie we all live in," I told Carlson. Its Columbia and anyone who thinks civility is the categorical imperative of our town needs to add Tom Paine to their bumper. Einstein said time and space are relative. I think he should add safety to the list.

Now I'm asking the readers of this blog and other local blogs to spread the word. The "not in my neighborhood" mentality ends where the driveways meet the streets. And on Columbia's summer streets, many a youth walks around with nothing to do.

So if you've got nothing better to do, or you'd like the details, tune in to 11 News at 11pm for the story and thanks for reading.