Working in the media is a bit like farming. You take the good with the bad. It's often feast or famine.
I'm sure dairy farmers must wonder how the milk price went from $8-40 to $3-90 in the space of two seasons. Likewise sheep farmers must question why a lamb, at the peak worth $150, can return not a heck of a lot better than half of that several years later. And grain farmers must despair there are no longer dairy farmers fighting for their fare.
It would be fair to say I've also experienced those high and lows and the peaks and the valleys in my fields of endeavour. The media is no place for shrinking violets.
Here's what 'Brucie B' wrote in response to my column on water quality in this publication two weeks ago:
"The result of your survey does not confirm the real bias many New Zealanders have against dairy farming. On the contrary, it reflects the genuine concern people have for intensive dairying ruining both our soils and our waterways. Perhaps if you took the fully-opaque blinkers off you'd 'get' this. It is fact, not fiction, and your flippant dismissal is an insult to anyone able to think coherently - which clearly, you can't."
I 'get' it that many people are passionate about water quality. I fall into that camp. I have protected a natural wetland that was under threat of cultivation by placing it under covenant in the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust. I genuinely care about our rivers and streams. Most farmers I know feel equally as passionate and equally as responsible. Most farmers I know are good guardians of the land.
So having batted off Brucie B, next I was confronted by a very confrontational Dianna who wrote:
"Dear Jamie. Do not be disparaging when speaking about Donald Trump. Whilst you may not particularly like his personality type, he is definitely a winner and a man who has made a great success of his life. Before commenting on others, you need to look closely at your own performance. I have to tell you that as host of an important window of informational discussion for one of our most valued industries, you are a great disappointment. You sound shallow and ill-informed and rather juvenile in your thought patterns with a very immature sense of what is funny.
Donald Trump is a very patriotic American who sees his country being defiled by weak leadership, moral and political corruption, along with very poor economic management and he is prepared to invest enormous personal financial commitment, all of his time and to leave behind an extremely luxurious and gracious life to take on the task of saving America from the abyss of disaster into which it is rapidly sliding. He is a strong and effective leader and I just wish we had a similar leader here in New Zealand where we have similar problems to the USA.
So until you get a grasp on reality, I suggest you refrain from opening your mouth and displaying a woeful inability to apply intelligent analysis. I do hope Newstalk ZB moves you on before too long. Sincerely, Dianna."
All of which I found to be anything but sincere from Dianna. There's little wonder Trump has a chance, albeit a diminishing one, of being Commander-in-Chief when such barking mad supporters exist.
I'm sorry, but despite Trump's alleged business acumen, I can't take seriously a man who wants to build a wall along the entire length of Mexican border and ban all Muslims from entering the country. And how stupid is a billionaire to boast of not paying tax in a presidential debate where one of the key election issues is a fair and equitable tax system for all Americans? Need I go on?
But just when you think the world hates you and you should swap your microphone or keyboard for a shearing handpiece or some milking overalls, a little ray of sunshine sneaks its way into your inbox. In this case it beamed in all the way from the Philippines.
"Hi Jamie and Dom. My colleagues and I work for Isentia and we monitor The Country radio program everyday here in Manila. We just wanted to tell you guys that the both of you are just awesome and hilarious. I also enjoy listening to your segment Jamie, with Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB Drive every Wednesday afternoon. We're also still wondering where those 500 dairy cows went? Poor cows and poor farmers! Wishing you guys all the best and keep up the excellent work. Cheers Gaby."
Thanks Gaby. Even the most overtly confident introverts need to be shown a little love on occasions.