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We who have spent our lives consigned to the ranks of the scribes know well the fire that occasionally consumes the readers. When times are bad, readers get angry when we write it.

The job isn’t to write what is positive. The job isn’t to write what is negative. The job is to write what happens. This morning, when I awakened, I looked out the window and saw that it is raining. When it’s raining, sunshine doesn’t get equal space.

The long decline of NASCAR saddens me. I’ve written about it for a living the majority of my life. I’ve paid attention to it for almost the entirety. It’s not what it used to be. This I might not know if I turned on the TV, blindfolded myself, cut off the sound and imagined the 1992 Atlanta Journal 500 in my mind. This is possible. Sometimes I fall asleep with the TV on and imagine what the characters look like as I hear their words. Then I tumble into a dream and imagine the story turning out in a totally different way.

Unfortunately, I usually forget the story within a few minutes after I awaken.

Readers who say there’s too much bad news fuel their fires with it. Out of curiosity, I check their Facebook pages. It makes me feel better that they’re mad at many more people and tweeters than me.

I work for the county website. Right now, at this moment, the list of the most-read stories consists of seven daily arrest reports, “Coroner confirms murder victim in Horry County is Laurens native,” an obituary, and riding in eighth place, sleek and racy, “Bragg announces early baseball commitment.”

People like to read bad news. They want the dirt. They’ll have to answer a few questions about it at the Pearly Gates, but that’s the way they are.