Journalists, by nature, tend to be a cynical lot.
Journalists attempt never to be gullible. They do not want to be taken in by those who give them false information. At the same time, they should not be cynical, disbelieving everything that is said to them. Instead, they should always be willing to question their source and check what they have against other information they might receive.
But if you ask me, we all should adopt this approach to life: Don't be so gullible.
Kick the tires more.
Watch and examine.
Don't rush into things.
Believe that if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Follow the money.
Forget branding. What's actually inside?
Permit me to have a little fun as I put on my cynical hat.
Just because somebody names their group "Citizens for Ceres," don't believe that's what's actually inside. Check your suspicions that such a group is a special-interest group with a narrow interest and focuses on undesired stop signs that are in their neighborhood. Bullies.
Labels don't mean a whole lot any more. In the old days - I'm talking way back in the days of the Bible -- names actually meant something. There was deep meaning in names. I wasn't until my 30s when I learned that Jeffrey means "God's peace." I'd like that to be the case but I'm sure He might have something different to say.
Nowadays names are chosen not for the meaning but because they appeal to the ear. That's certainly true in the world of real estate and the high dollars at stake.
Take names of highways and streets. They knew how to name things in the olden days. In California we have the El Camino Real (Spanish for "The Royal Road.") The Pacific Coast Highway conjures up mental pictures of a ribbon of asphalt snaking along majestic creases of land dropping off into a rugged foaming coastline and tranquil sea. And it should. The name aptly fits.
Somewhere in developers' quests to market subdivisions, they've really stretched with street names. Possibly out of boredom they've concocted out-of-the-box names for Ceres streets like Podocarpus Drive (yes, it's in Eastgate).
Some names, however, are hardly reflective of conditions in the area.
What do you think of when you hear names like Pine Ridge Drive and Mountain Ridge? Can you smell the air of Pinecrest or Strawberry? Nah. Try the flat land in north Ceres far far from the Sierras.
What about Merlot, Sauvignon or Bordeaux drives? Now are you smelling grapes in the Napa wine country? If that were the case you wouldn't be able to afford it. Nah. Travel a little west from the mountain streets to find the wine name streets.
Folks, we aren't even close to Oz when we're talking Munchkin Drive and Yellow Brick Road. Nope, that's around the corner from the wine streets.
Then there's Matterhorn, Zurich, Bern and Jura. Nope, we're not talking anywhere close to Switzerland. There isn't even a view of Half Dome let alone the Swiss Alps but you might be able to see the top of Walmart to the west.
The comic inside my journalistic head proposes we get a little closer to reality when naming streets. Hear me out. The Valley is clearly a desert without irrigation and it has its problems. We are also a farming area with all of its blessings as well as pratfalls. My sick sense of humor has developers naming streets like Malathion Way, Pesticide Place, Sweltering Summer Avenue, Dead Possum Street, Cropduster Court.
We are nowhere near Hawaii but we have Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Banyan Court. But we are in an impoverished area, however, we're not likely to see the Chamber of Commerce smiling at streets named: Unemployment, Upsidedown, Foreclosure or Bailout.
The county's auto theft and meth cases have us in the nation's eye as one of the worst so why not dispense with nice names for subdivisions such as Davante Villas and go for reality. How about Hotwire Estates with Vagrancy Lane, Curfew Drive, Parole Place, Dirty Needle Court and Blight Road. Meth Manor could be a theme for a new subdivision with street names such as Drive-by Drive and Norteno Lane (intersecting with Surreno Street), which is right around the corner from Blood Alley and Meth Cooker Court, which is one street over from Lo-jack Lane.
Alright, just kidding, just kidding. I do appreciate the difficulty in coming up with innovative street names that don't sound ridiculous while sound original. For the most part, Eastgate or even Westpointe and other areas have street names with nice rings to them. Like anyone, I like nice sounding street names.
I just wish that neighborhoods in the Valley lived up to those nice rings.
It would be nice for the Valley to change what it's become: A place where Forbes Magazine says is one of the worst places in the country to live.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know at firstname.lastname@example.org