Janesville is 'going'
The trailer for the upcoming documentary 'As Goes Janesville' has been all over the internet and on local and cable news broadcasts. While 26 seconds of the ten minute trailer has been the focus, the other 9-plus minutes were more interesting than the sound byte ripped from the end. I know there was local involvement in the PBS documentary but I didn't see the Janesville that I know in that trailer. What I saw was anything but Janesville…that is just my opinion.
If I'd never stepped foot in Janesville I would have been depressed while watching the trailer. A Labor Day parade that wasn't celebrating much labor and families making painful decisions. I was at that Labor Day parade and I found it fun and encouraging. It was a needed break from the shock that had just hit Janesville. The painful family decisions? Those aren't just in Janesville. Those type of decisions have been made by millions of Americans for decades as they provided for their families. There are also thousands of families in Janesville celebrating and rejoicing. I hope those are mentioned in the documentary as well.
The gal who was going back to school? That's great news! That's an opportunity and one that any person who lost their job in another community would love. Oh sure, I could have dwelled on the negative, but where is that going to get us? The Janesville that the documentary wants to show. Michael Moore would have been proud.
Yes, Janesville has encountered it share of setbacks in the last four or five years and we aren't out of the woods yet. Our city has encountered blows in the past. Still, as I walk the sidewalks of Janesville and drive down the well-maintained streets I don't feel what the documentary trailer wanted me to feel. I don't feel despair. I feel hope.
Hope is in our schools, hope is in our churches and I truly believe hope is in our community as a whole. I certainly 'hope' that the documentary that airs later this year on PBS shares the side of hope and doesn't just focus on despair.
Sometimes the best defense is a great offense. Rock County has banded together to try to forge forward. We aren't on our heels waiting for another loss. Folks in the business community and local officials have turned to offense with Rock County 5.0 and they're starting to find small wins. It's nice to see our communities working together.
In my opinion Janesville is 'going'. It may not be firing on all cylinders but the offense is starting to gel. Cheers to the PR machine that did a beautiful job creating buzz. They did their job and then some. I just hope that 'hope' isn't forgotten during the next phase of the PR push.
What do you think?
Steve Knox was born, raised and landed back in Janesville. He encourages you to participate as he writes on Janesville and beyond as this Generation X guy supports his Janesville mission, global vision. Steve is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.