Dear readers, it has come to my attention that Bagha Industries, helmed by Neverland’s own Lily Bagha, is about to have its initial public offering. (For those unfamiliar with Ms. Baga, you can learn more about her and her company in an editorial from last year). Though Ms. Bagha is a friend to the paper, she declined to comment on the move at this time, leaving us only to speculate as to her reasons. First and foremost, it appears that she might not have any other choice.
Until relatively recently, companies with more than 500 on-record shareholders were required by the SEC to go public, but in 2012 the senate passed legislation raising that cap to 2,000. But the number of Bagha Industries shareholders is just about to rocket past this new magic number, forcing the CEO to make Bagha Industries stock available to the public, or submit to much stricter disclosure rules. It seems the company has grown too much, too fast. This would ordinarily be a good problem to have, but it remains to be seen just how the issuance of public stock will affect the company.
Stop the presses! I’ve learned that my sister Wendy Darling’s book tour begins this Saturday at Neverland Books! So I figured I’d use this week’s editorial to talk a little bit about it. In case you haven’t read any of my earlier editorials on the subject, Wendy has written a book called “Ask Wendy: Advice on Life, Love and Living,” which is being put out by the publishing division of JH Media. We’re all familiar with her storied career as advice columnist during her tenure running “Dear Darling” for the Kensington Chronicle before she moved on to bigger and better things, and this book is a must-have for anyone who enjoyed that feature! Click on over to the JH Media site to read a few excepts, in case you’d like to try before you buy. And using the form right below that, you can sign up to have free excerpts delivered right to your inbox.
Auditions will be held tomorrow, Wednesday 8/5. If interested, please contact Peter Pan on Twitter (@PetersPanels) and indicate which character you want to try out for. No sides at the audition, simply prepare a monologue of your choosing. Scripts will be distributed after final casting decisions have been made.
Ghost of King Pancules – The former King of Nevermore, slain by his duplicitous brother, Jas Vader. The spirit of Pancules appears to his son, Panlet, in hopes that he will be avenged.
Queen Gwendolyn – King Pancules’ widow. Not complicit in her late husband’s murder. In danger of succumbing to her brother-in-law, Jas Vader’s, romantic advances.
Jas Vader – Brother to King Pancules, perpetrator of murder most foul. Usurper of the throne, and a contender for Queen Gwendolyn’s heart.
We are, each of us, getting older. Every second of every day. And as we get older things change. I’ve talked at length about how my sister Wendy has found a new life at JH Media, and how even Michael is running Dear Darling now and developing a life of his own. Our family has been so tight knit for so much of our lives that as my siblings and I grow apart, I’m feeling a void of intimacy in my life that I don’t know quite how to deal with. Trying to fill that void with work, clearly, is not the answer. For a while, I’ve been trying to build up the courage to wade into the dating pool, but the concept remains wholly alien to me.
I fear I’ve missed that high school phase experimental phase that most of my peers went through, and I can never go back. That sort of trial and error period where you throw caution to the wind, make your share of mistakes, and set a baseline for the rest of your romantic life. Usually by my age, people have been around the block enough times to have received at least a little positive reinforcement in this area. But now even asking somebody out seems like a bridge to far? What it they say no? I just don’t know if I could take that kind of rejection.
In honor of Father’s Day this year, I thought it was long since time I wrote a piece on the man responsible for bringing you the Kensington Chronicle 7 days a week 52 weeks a year, my father and our editor in chief, George Darling. And how, if not for a chance meeting more than 30 years ago at the Neverland Train Station, I wouldn’t even be here.
As you can no doubt imagine, it takes a certain kind of person to run a newspaper day in and day out. George Darling is driven, organized, and knows how and when to delegate. But believe it or not, my father was not always the taskmaster he is today. Though George is loath to admit it himself, my grandfather, David Darling, has imparted to me on more than one occasion that in his formative years, my father was relatively aimless. David Darling saw his son’s potential, but feared that George was in danger of squandering it. George, for his part, wanted the freedom to make his own choices, and in those days, being groomed to take over the family business was the furthest thing from what he wanted.
I mentioned last week that my sister Wendy now works for JH Media in New York City. Well, this week we’re going to take a look at the man who puts the JH in JH Media, Mr. Jas Hook. Jas, née James, was born and raised right here in Neverland. Tragically orphaned at a very young age, James was raised by his father’s sister, Emily Hook. Now, at this point in time, the Hook family was far from well to do, and James faced more than his share of adversity. James, at the time, was a boy of considerable girth for his age, evinced a youthful stutter, and was the butt of many a joke in his schoolboy years. One boy his age, a boy I know quite well, was particularly unkind. It got so bad that when James was 18, he went to live with a cousin in Berkshire, England, finishing out his senior year at Eton College. James subsequently went to Balliol College, where he earned a master’s in Business and Economics, and interned for two years with the world-famous Edward Thatch.
This week, I thought I’d write a follow-up to my last editorial about my sister Wendy leaving Neverland. In the run-up to her departure, I was so gung-ho about what this career move meant for Wendy that I barely stopped to think about how her leaving would affect me. Now that a couple of months have passed, the impact of her flight has begun to stick out in stark relief.
For instance, before now I don’t think I ever consciously acknowledged just how important Wendy’s presence was in the ecosystem of our apartment. When it was me, Wendy and Michael living together, there was a delicate balance to the universe. Now that it’s just me and Michael… Well, he and I are both still alive, so I guess things aren’t as bad as they could be. And don’t get me wrong, I love my brother dearly, but I never quite realized the extent to which he is incapable of doing almost anything for himself. Wendy was always as much like a mother to Michael as a sister, and now those motherly duties are falling to the only sibling that yet remains.
As most of you loyal “It’s Dear Darling” viewers probably already know, my sister Wendy has left Neverland for a cushy job in the big city. Working at JH Media really is a dream job for her, and I couldn’t be happier about it. And if I’m being honest, I’ve kind of seen this coming for a long time; because, while my dream is here, Wendy was never going to be able to reach her full potential in Neverland. And don’t get me wrong, if I got an offer to be a newspaperman for a prestigious paper in the big city, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have to think long and hard about it, but in the final analysis, I am perfectly happy climbing the ladder here at our local paper. Because sooner or later our dear father George Darling will have to retire (though I daren’t tell him that!), and I can’t imagine the Kensington Chronicle without a Darling at the helm.
However, “It’s Dear Darling” was essentially the pinnacle of what Wendy would have been able to achieve at the Chronicle, and I’ve always known that she’s destined for bigger things than that. Which is not to say that it was easy for her to leave. It takes a certain kind of person to leave behind her parents, her siblings, her friends, and make a new life for herself hundreds of miles from the place she’s called home for her entire life. The Kensington Chronicle’s own Peter Pan likes to fancy himself an adventurer, but for my money there is no braver soul in all of Neverland than my sister Wendy.
My sister, the Kensington Chronicle’s own Wendy Darling, just had a birthday last week, and it made me ruminate on the passage of time, and what birthdays mean to me. In many ways, I see my birthday as the beginning of a new year, a time to take stock of where I am in my long-term plans. And as much as I’ve gone to great lengths in recent editorials to explain the stunted development of me and my fellow millennials, realizing just how much further along our own father was at this point in his life can be a bitter pill to swallow. To say nothing of Kensington Darling, our ancestor and illustrious founder of this very paper, whose many and varied accomplishments I have enumerated elsewhere. He and his contemporary J.M. Barrie, Neverland’s beloved founder, accomplished more in a few decades than most people do in a lifetime. Are the days of Renaissance men and women like that well and truly gone?
Love has been in the air of late in Neverland, and it has been the subject of much debate amongst myself and some of my fellow townsfolk. Is love merely a distraction, like a seasonal allergy, or is it the rose that the old adage is ceaselessly reminding us to stop and smell?
The inability of some in my generation to form meaningful, long-lasting relationships is nothing if not a multi-faceted problem. In my recent editorial about millennials, I posited that the dearth of serious, long-term relationships in my generation may stem in part from the nigh endless expenditure of effort that is required for us to stay afloat in these dire economic straits. Additionally, the “everyone gets a prize just for showing up” mentality of our current congratulatory culture, and the rash of so-called “helicopter parents” who swoop in to “save us” at the slightest perceived provocation, has left us profoundly ill-equipped to handle actual disappointment in our lives. In a generation that’s been raised to make mountains out of every emotional mole hill, we’re forced to re-evaluate if it is, in fact, better to have loved and lost. In that context, “never having loved at all” can emerge as an arguably more-attractive option. What’s more, in a world where many millennials have been coddled since birth, the prospect of such an all-encompassing relationship can seem like one more way to see their personality subsumed by yet another “other.” And the longer the utter alien-ness of the concept of real romantic love exists, the scarier that prospect becomes.