You have to pay for a job well done

In Focus column by Andrew Tripp, Feb. 25 Boundary Creek Times

The term “flogging a dead horse,” if my research is correct, was first used by English politician and orator John Bright in the late 1800’s to describe the futility of attempting to rouse Parliament from its apathy regarding the Reform Act of 1867. It is a term which continues to have, albeit through a somewhat egregious depiction of violence, some usefulness when describing an individual or group’s refusal to let a matter be and, in somewhat gentler terms, “move on”.

I observe this type of reluctance on a regular basis as a reporter, be it at council meetings, through emails and letters I receive and various other portals. People often become fixated with matters that may or may not directly impact them or stand to make their lives better (or, for that matter, worse) and seemingly get so wound up about them that they inevitably make themselves look just a little foolish.

Recently, one fellow voiced his frustration at a local professional being regularly featured in the newspapers, asking those around him if the expert in question was some sort of “god” (or words to that effect), and ridiculing the size of the payment that was made to him for, in my estimation at least, some pretty tricky business concerning nature and water, two extremely contentious issues not only in the Boundary but certainly province-wide.

I just don’t get it. If you want a difficult (or any) job done well, you have to pay for it, and that’s what happened in this case. Let it be, move on, don’t keep flogging the dead horse.


I was surprised to hear of Rock Creek resident Colleen Smith’s disappearance earlier in the month; I just heard about it on Monday, though was soon thereafter contacted by one very concerned friend who hoped I could help in the matter somehow. Of course, I couldn’t do much, though the friend did bring up some interesting points about Facebook’s potential role in unravelling this “mystery.”

Firstly, she pointed out that Colleen had “unfriended” a number of her online friends, which, in my mind at least, illustrates some degree of intent on her part. That and the fact that she had packed up many of her belongings prior to her “isappearance and it’s difficult to conclude that this case is anything but sinister.

However, the friend also suggested that Smith’s whereabouts could surely be discovered through the deciphering of IP addresses, which could, perhaps, pinpoint the physical location of the computer or smartphone from which messages were sent. I’m no expert in this IT area, but I tend to agree with her friend and, perhaps, that’s exactly what the RCMP are working on at this very moment.

I hope the mystery is solved soon and Colleen is found safe, because otherwise, as a reporter, I will likely be asked to continue “flogging a dead horse” and, as is often the case, will simply begin to look foolish.

Though really, does it matter what people think? Is not reality more relevant than perception? I think so.

Next week: some of my favourite English recipes.