When journalism was more than just a noble and important thing: it was also a fun thing.

When I worked as a journalist, I did so for the express purpose of studying it.

It was an enigmatic and eccentric way of studying a subject, but it was the best way to study it: when you go in with a plan and no adherence to any script, you see a world full of opportunity.

I called my work Method Research.

It was all serious, but it was also fun.


Because I was uninhibited enough to go into a profession by empirical methods, I learned how to study my profession.

And it inspired me to get stories in innovative ways. I interviewed people in prison who had very strict rules, and I managed to get those interviews -- and find ways of verifying their accounts that normally would be nearly impossible to do so.

Court transcripts weren't in some convenient database, for instance; sometimes they were in the basement of an unlikely place in another state, and it took a lot of creative problem solving to find it.


I interviewed undercover police officers, and it often took finding channels in another country in order to find the one that fit the bill -- and then the interview set up was just as tricky.

But red tape was never a line in the sand. I made sure to find the truth, without compromising a delicate situation. I never worried about narrative: it let the facts tell the story.

It took understanding that sometimes you have to alter the board, even if you are using the same moves from a different game.


I realized I was more than just a researcher, detective, magician, or reporter: I was a soldier in a war where I had to fight through lies to see the reality that would get me that Truth.


But even though I was a soldier -- and I had to learn how not to fall for propaganda, I had to have a sense of levity -- and I had to have fun to create a body of work that had multiple purposes and meanings.


When you lose that sense of innocence and idealism, you lose your focus, and no matter how scary things could get: I never jettison that part of my heart and soul.


Because that part of me was always inspiring me to be creative and think of new things to do to understand journalism.


More than anything else, that sense of play turned a daunting goal into something I relished and pushed to understand -- but not for any other reason but to improve on something that was broken. It was my own loving gift so that no one ever felt lost in a shuffle.


And when you use your job to conduct experiments in order to improve it to make a better future, you ensures that you think about tomorrow as you move toward your goals.


Journalism forgot all about those things because they became too full of themselves: it was always about a script that they arrogantly used to place themselves at the top of some make pretend pecking order.

When they lost that sense of kindness, they lost their way.

That's when the once noble and important thing called journalism turned into nothing.

And after I wrote books, I took years to figure out how to replace that inert industry with something new.

Something that was embedded with that same innocence and kindness that propelled me to studying journalism by becoming a journalist.

I call that system F.R.E.E.D.

Every letter stands for something. Every period also stands for something.

It is a system that came about as I was working on another system of storytelling I called the Matriarchal.

Both were linked and one helped me see the value of the other.

It is not just journalists who have lost their collective humanity and sense of humour: Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee are anything but comediennes.

They are bitter haters looking to terrorize another woman who they have decided should be stomped into the ground for not conforming to a false comedienne's decrees.

The hate is spreading, and without that gentle sense of play, society has no incentive to think about tomorrow.

And that's a tragedy.

It doesn't have to be that way at all.

Our comedians should lighten up and get over themselves.

Our politicians should get off their high horse and think of solutions that do not involve bribing citizens with their own money as they treat them as stupid children.

And journalists should let go of the rot that consumed their profession to liberate themselves from the chains that dragged them to their ruin...