Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Retirement and the people who hate me

I mailed in my retirement papers Tuesday.

It took me several days to fill them out because I kept putting it off- not because I thought there was a chance of going back into teaching, that is most likely never going to happen- I just have a problem with the word "retirement."

It is not a word that fits what I have been doing. I am putting in as many hours, sometimes more, as I used to as a full-time teacher and a part-time writer. It is just that now the writing is my full time job.

Apparently, many of my readers project their own weaknesses on to me. You've seen the comments. I am a bitter old man. I am obsessed with C. J. Huff and Angie Besendorfer. I am a pornographer because I wrote a book with sex scenes, I am preaching to a choir of former students and teachers. I have deep-seated mental problems and it is quite possible that I have spent the last 36 years of my life deluding myself into thinking I am a journalist.

Don't you just love critics?

For the most part, I am convinced that most of the negative comments on the blog are not coming from supporters of the Joplin R-8 Administration, but from the same people who were ripping into me during the years I was writing about Bruce Speck and the problems at Missouri Southern State University. Some of them have writing styles I recognize from my days at the Carthage Press.

I am not obsessed with C. J. Huff and Angie Besendorfer, though I have heard that the R-8 superintendent may have that problem with me. Through no wish of my own, I have landed the kind of story that reporters dream of- it has greed, corruption, horrendous misuse of taxpayers' money, and activities that are either criminal or border on it. And just like with the Bruce Speck stories, no one has put a dent in any of my reporting. Instead, they criticize me..

Unfortunately, just like with the Bruce Speck stories, I have the field to myself. And this time, there isn't an anonymous Southern Watch. Just like with the MSSU situation, the Joplin Globe has acted as an enabler, forgoing its obligation to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted as H. J. Mencken once wrote, in favor of playing footsie with their friends.

And when the curtain finally comes down on the Huff-Besendorfer era in the Joplin R-8 School District, I fully expect the Joplin Globe to write an editorial warning about letting this ever happen again- when the Globe had it in its power to bring this operation to its knees long ago and spare the hundreds of people who lost their jobs.

No, obsession is not my problem. When Huff and Besendorfer are gone, there will be other people who are abusing the people's trust; there will be other issues that interest me.

I am arrogant, aging, and not much to look at, but I like what I do and I have worked hard to reach a point where I am good at it.

So thank you, readers, for putting up with my faults. I wasn't quite ready for the end of my teaching career, but then I wasn't quite ready to end my newspaper career 14 years ago and that worked out well for me.

This will, too. I am doing something that I love doing, writing and reporting,  and something that I love nearly as much- ticking off those who badly want to see me fail, but whose lives would lose some meaning if they did not have me to rant and rave about.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

I am a critic of you. I know nothing of your Speck past. What I know is only what I have read on this blog. I started reading it at the same time all of your troubles became public. I have a feeling there is a vein of truth in some of the problems you say are caused by the admin. But I told you before and I will say it again. Because you continually insult and demean almost anyone who works in the admin building and anyone who has ever gotten a job while having any connection to Angie whatsoever and the entire school district I can't trust anything you write. You have no perspective or even an ounce of impartiality. There are some wonderful things happening in this district. Huff and Angie are not all evil nor are they total angels. There is a middle ground but you are so far on one side you can't see the center line. I think it was wrong of you to name names about this latest story. You blogged about someone's personal bankruptcy from ten years ago. There was absolutely no productive reason to do that. I see how far you will go and you will step on anyone if it will help you prove that you were right about huff/Angie.

Anonymous said...

"Bleeding the taxpayers dry." "The massacre at McKinley" "admin to teachers - every move you make we will be watching you" "huff's excessive spending spree"

These are just a few of the headlines you have chosen when blogging about them. If you were in school all you would have to do is add "go kill yourselves. No one likes you." Bully. That is how you come off. And a bully is usually someone who is very insecure with themselves and only feels better when putting someone else down.

Self-analysis or introspection isn't your strong suit said...

There is a reason why you have been consistently driven out of whatever field you have been in, Turner.

You start out like a Uriah Heep, get confident that you have the rubes fooled, then reveal yourself, and then everyone can't help but agree that you need to be driven out and never be let back in.

We should be grateful that even though you are a psychopath, that you are cowardly, hence usually non-violent.

Any doctor who tells you that you have inoperable cancer and thus nothing more to lose is pretty much laying the doors open for another Columbine or Sandy Hook.

On a related note, self-analysis or introspection isn't your strong suit. Too bad for you that you can't fool all the people any of the time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear, all of the people who Turner exposed are going to pounce now and bore us all with their moral outrage. Please go back under your rocks and spare us all your pathetic, unfounded diatribes. Provide some documentation to support your claims. Turner does...

Anonymous said...

If Turner was as bad as you idiots claim he wouldn't post your comments. Instead he posts them and you look pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Poor 10:12. All the headlines you just quoted as being bullying were all backed up with facts to prove them. Maybe you should try reading past the headline. It'll take practice, but you'll get better with time. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Joplin and have nothing to do with the School System. I admire Mr. Turners writing/reporting style. He keeps me reading his report simply because he does expose us to
both his supporters and his critics. That is what honest good reporters do. Nice work.

Kmadsen said...

You know, if you're really as outraged as you claim, you could just not read this blog. Randy has every right to his opinion. As someone who has known Randy for over 25 years, I can tell you he is one of the least judgmental, most truth seeking people I have ever known. Only a bully posts comments such as yours and the hides behind anonymous. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who work at MSSU are extremely grateful to Randy Turner for his consistent reporting on the turmoil and strife caused by the Speck presidency. Although Southern Watch and The Chart newspaper (for a while) were also showing us the darker side of Speck, it was very helpful to have someone not associated with MSSU doing the same kind of reporting. It took five years, but eventually the Board of Governors and the community began to see what kind of a president Speck actually was.

Anonymous said...

How are his words that any different from the words used to describe him? Groomer. Pedophile to be. I thought those words were horrible and hurtful and unnecessary. Two wrongs do not make a right. There are ways to report or blog about problems without resorting to these tactics.

Anonymous said...

Kmadsen I bet turner doesn't appreciate you telling people not to read his blog. I read it because I since there is some truth somewhere in there. I have heard good things about turner and I keep hoping that one day I will see him turn the corner and report the truth without the over-dramatized insults meant to rile up the haters. Again this is exactly how bullies rationalize their behavior. "I am just telling it like it is." And they get support from other people who are too blind or insecure or insensitive or immature to see inappropriate behavior and step up and say something.

Anonymous said...

When the barnyard is full of ostriches with their heads in the sand,they get mad when they have to come up for air. Keep up the good fight.