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Keep digging: Inside the minds of the world’s best investigative reporters

Image: Gokarna Avachat

Image: Gokarna Avachat

Investigative reporting might make great fodder for Hollywood movies, but the reality is far from glamourous. 

Blockbuster investigations can take years, even decades, and require grit and determination. 

So, what drives this special breed of journalists?

In the latest episode of Journo, we hear from two outstanding investigative reporters: Chicago-based journalist Jim Derogatis, who helped expose the crimes of disgraced singer R. Kelly, and The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Kate MyClymont, who has spent decades covering the murky world of organised crime and corrupt politicians.

Guests

  • Jim DeRogatis, Journalist and author of ‘Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly’
  • Kate McClymont, Investigative journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald

Transcript

TV news anchor
Good evening. We have a mystery story out of Washington. Five people have been arrested and charged with breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the middle of the night. 

Nick Bryant (NB)
I guess most journalists start out wondering if they could be the next Woodward or Bernstein — the two young beat reporters at The Washington Post, whose investigation into a break in at the Democratic National Committee in an office and residential complex called Watergate brought down a president. 

US president Richard Nixon
I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. 

NB
But most of us don’t end up ploughing our trades in underground car parks or boasting contacts ready to spill the beans like Deep Throat, the nickname given to Bob Woodward’s high-ranking source. Investigative Reporting is one of the highest forms of journalism, and pretty much the only time that Hollywood shows much interest in what we do. 

All the President’s Men trailer
All the President’s Men the story of the two young reporters who cracked the Watergate conspiracy. 

NB
But you can hardly call it the glamour end of the industry. Blockbuster investigations often take years, if not decades of legwork, and there are all sorts of obstacles to overcome along the way. So what precisely does it take to succeed and are financial pressures and the constant threat of litigation making it harder to pursue?  

I’m Nick Bryant and this is Journo, a podcast from the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, and a warning: this episode mentioned sexual abuse and suicide. 

TV news reporter
Kelly repeatedly insisted during our interview he was a victim of a smear campaign fueled by social media. His frustrations boiled over. 

Singer R. Kelly
Quit playing. Quit playing. I didn’t do this stuff. This is not me. Yeah, I’m fighting for my f**king life. 

Nick
By the time the R&B singer a music producer R. Kelly sat down for an interview with Gayle King of CBS, all the world’s news organisations were reporting the allegations against him of sexually exploiting young girls.  

R. Kelly’s secret was widely known in the music industry. After humble beginnings, busking on the streets of Chicago in the 1990s, he’d become one of the biggest names in R&B and hip-hop.

Not only was he a very powerful man, to young women in his orbit, he was also a very dangerous man. 

TV news reporter
Hip-hop star R.Kelly did indeed marry his protege, the 15-year-old singer Aaliyah Haughton. 

NB
One journalist has spent decades covering this story, Jim DeRogatis. And he hadn’t started out as a conventional investigative reporter. Far from it. 

Jim DeRogatis (JDR) 

I was the pop music critic at the Chicago Sun Times. It’s a dream beat really. I was not initially covering Kelly at first because another reporter had really been on him, but I was well aware of him in Chicago, as a music writer. You know, it was a great story. He had risen from singing for spare change in front of McDonald’s in the loop and on the L platforms to selling 100 million albums — the dominant voice in R&B for a generation — his own records, and those he’s producing for everyone from Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, eventually to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. It’s a great American story. Great music story. 

R. Kelly
I grew up in the hood and there was a lot of things, a lot of routes I could have went, but I chose this route. You know, God gave me the talent and it’s up to you to pursue it. 

JDR
There had always been whispers in air quotes. ‘R. Kelly likes them young.’ And I will admit that I never really stopped to think about what that meant. 

NB
And the key moment Jim came on the eve of Thanksgiving in 2000, when you went into the office. You were doing some routine paperwork. You wanted to tidy up before the holiday, and there was a fax from a music fan with a tip-off. 

JDR
They tried to keep my trips to the office limited to once a week to pick up my mail, file my expenses and get the hell out before an editor gave me some stupid assignment. And there was a fax it said: “Dear Mr. DeRogatis, you compared R. Kelly to Marvin Gaye.” It is the oldest trope in R&B: the mixing of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Hot and horny bedroom jams and the desire for spiritual transcendence and in the hands of the best — Al Green and Marvin Gaye and Prince — sex and spirituality are the same thing. And I noted that Kelly’s dichotomy was so whiplash jarring it could give you a headache. And this anonymous correspondent said, “Well, Mr. DeRogatis, Marvin Gaye had his problems. They’re nothing like Robert’s. Robert’s problem is young girls.”  

And you have to understand that, you know, Chicago’s a racially divided city. Whenever I wrote about hip-hop or R&B, I got a lot of hate mail. “That’s not music, that’s noise.” And when you have a black superstar on the level of Michael Jordan, or Oprah, or R. Kelly, which he is, you know, there are haters. And I thought, this is hate mail, and I threw it in the wire bin on the corner of my desk, where all the press releases I’d never read and all the hate mail went before they went in the garbage.  

But something about that the specifics in that letter, haunted me throughout the Thanksgiving weekend. There was the name of a sergeant in the police department, it said. The letter claimed there had been an open investigation for a year and a half at that point. There was a name of a lawsuit that had been filed in 1996. I went back on Monday morning after the holiday weekend, and I looked at that letter, and I called the Chicago Police Department switchboard. And I said, spelling the Polish sergeants name off of the facts, do you have a search and Genachowski and they said, “no, nobody by that name.” And I almost hung up. And I thought, “well, wait a minute, do you have anybody with a similar Polish surname in Sex Crimes?” And I got connected to a sergeant who answered the phone. I said, “I’m Jim DeRogatis from the Chicago Sun Times I’m calling about your investigation into R. Kelly.” And she said, “Oh, I was wondering how long it would take before somebody called about that. I can’t talk to you.” And she hung up. And that’s when I knew there was something there. 

NB
And what you did at that stage Jim was to take this to the City desk. You teamed up with a reporter who was on the Court beat, a guy called Abdon Pallasch. And then you really started conducting some old school reporting. Going to the courthouse, for instance, trying to find the records of this previous case. 

JDR
Well, amazingly to this day, Cook County courts do not have digital files of lawsuits that are filed. You know, you have to go two or three times a day, if you’re on the Court beat, to the bins and, you know, 999 out of 1,000 lawsuits or landlord tenant disputes and such. And then once in a while Michael Jordan’s getting sued for something and you say okay, bingo.  

And this lawsuit had been filed at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. You want to guess Nick how many reporters are working on Christmas Eve at 4.30. It had intentionally been slipped into to fly under the radar.  

Its accusations were horrifying that Kelly had arranged group sexual contact with 14- and 15-year-old high school sophomores. And there were names they were dates. There were witnesses ready to testify. And after a seven-and-a-half-hour deposition, we learned that girl was the first of many, dozens, of young women that were paid off. Chump change, not a lot of money, paid off for their silence and non-disclosure agreements. It’s the tool favoured by predators: Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, you name it. 

NB
Now one of the things that you did was start knocking on doors in Chicago, the South Side. I don’t want to pathologise that neighbourhood, but it’s a tough area of town. I’ve reported from there myself and the sight of two white guys on your doorstep. I mean, presumably a lot of people thought you were cops. 

JDR
No, you know, I’m a fat white rock critic with all of his favourite bands that formed his life tattooed on his arms. Abdon Pallasch is, by his own description, an Irish-Polish leprechaun. So, you know, we looked like Laurel and Hardy. It was obvious that we weren’t cops and the reaction we got again and again was not, you know, what the hell are you talking about? It was you no one has ever believed me. No one has ever listened to me. Come on in. And we barely even had to ask questions. 

You know, I say this all the time because I think it’s important to understand, nobody ever said I hate that evil SOB. It was always “brother’s got a problem. Brother needs help. Brother has to stop!” Also it was, “have you gone to the police?” In many cases, these young women and their family members had, and what we heard time after time after time, and it’s heartbreaking. “I was a young black girl who was going to believe me?” 

NB
I think one of the things that you’ve said in the past is absolutely fascinating. A great skill of the investigative reporter is the ability to listen.  

JDR
You know, I was never prying. I never forced anyone to go on the record. I was very patient over the two and a half decades of this story. In some cases, it took nine months for a woman to trust me. In some cases, it took five years. Every three or four months, “well, if I was going to talk to you, what would it be like? I’m still thinking about it.” And I’m like, I will report accurately and I’ll need to ask you a lot of questions to document what you’re telling me. And then I wouldn’t hear and then it would be months later. 

There was no hatred, and there was an eagerness to talk to journalists who were taking them seriously finally, when no one had. 

NB
Jim, you published your story on December the 21st 2000. So almost a month after you got that fax. What was the response to that extraordinarily explosive story? 

JDR
So Abdon and I stayed around till about two in the morning and got the first offs hot off the printing press, and then went and had a drink. And we were a little cocky. We thought, “all right, we’ve really nailed him. We have so much evidence in this story. He’s done.” And instead, we woke up to find ourselves vilified on black radio, vilified by the black media, vilified by the black church, vilified by the entire black community with the exception of a truly inspiring columnist at the Sunday Times, Mary Mitchell. In the first two years of our reporting, she wrote 26 columns: “Black community, wake up! These reporters are white, it doesn’t matter. They are talking about a man who is destroying the lives of your daughters, your sisters, your aunties, your nieces.” But that’s not how Chicago saw it. 

NB
You didn’t get the response that you thought you would get to the story. But what you did get, two weeks later, was another lead, a key piece of evidence: a videotape. 

JDR
Yeah, there was a brief video, and there was no indication of when it was filmed, or who this woman was. We couldn’t tell, is she 25? Is she 15? We tried to do as much reporting as we could, and we came up empty. 

We gave it to the police. It was a very controversial decision. You know, that’s controversial to this day, because the reporter doesn’t do the work of the police. But we thought if this woman is underage, if this is a girl, not a woman, this is evidence of a felony. 

The cops never determined who that first girl was. To this day, no one has. But the precedent had been set that if we got indisputable evidence of a felony for Kelly, that we would give it to the police to stop the ongoing sexual abuse of underage girls. And you know that first tape went nowhere, but the second tape in February 2002 did. 

NB
This was a 26-minute tape. It featured awful, awful scenes of abuse. 

JDR
26 minutes 39 seconds of Kelly directing this girl, who we knew was 14 at the time, how to pleasure him. It’s excruciating. It’s horrible. It was crystal clear. It often gets misreported that it was hard to identify Kelly. No, no. It was indisputable to us. 

NB
Finally, the allegations were taken seriously. The police did take action and they charged R. Kelly in 2002. But it actually took six years for the case to come to trial and when it did come to trial, he was ultimately acquitted. 

Now at that point, you’ve been working on the story for eight years. I wonder whether you saw in that acquittal a message: Jim, it’s time to move on. 

JDR
It was the lowest day in my life as a journalist. The judicial system had failed and reporting had failed by not hammering away harder at what our lead was on December 21 2000. R. Kelly abuses his position of wealth and fame to pursue illegal sexual contact with underage girls. You know, boom! Period. A pattern of behaviour, not one incident. 

And other stories continued to come my way. We didn’t throw in the towel. We never thought it was time to move on. Because we had sat with those victims. I had seen the scars on the wrist of one young woman who tried to kill herself after Kelly had abused her at 15 and dumped her at 16. 

I don’t think you’re a journalist, I don’t think you’re a human being, if a woman calls you and says, “I am being hurt. No one will listen. Can I tell you my story?” And you don’t take that call. So I never didn’t take the call. But the other thing that I always tell young journalists is I took those calls, you know, Christmas morning, when my young daughter was eager to open her presents. I took those calls on New Year’s Eve. I took those calls at six in the morning and took them at midnight. If you want to be a journalist, you’ve got to be accessible. 

NB
So you keep working on the story, Jim, and in 2017, you published another bombshell on R. Kelly that he had maintained a sex cult and that was published in Buzzfeed. But you’ve shopped it around to other news organisations that were interested and often came close to the point of publication. But there were concerns about the legals. There were concerns that the story wasn’t quite watertight.

JDR
I had worked for three months each at three different publications, where we had gotten to the point of legal vetting. The first was MTV News and then, you know, corporate Viacom said we cannot publish this. And the second was the Chicago Reader, the great alternative weekly, and we got through two rounds of legal vetting and additional reporting. And then they decided they could not publish it. 

I had a weekly radio show and still do on National Public Radio, but based at WBEZ in Chicago. Went through legal vetting, additional editing, rigorous, rigorous editing and fact checking and reporting was set to publish at noon on a Wednesday after nine months of reporting at that point, and at two I got a call and say that, you know, Jim, the story is yours, but we can’t run it here. And I made three calls. I called the Los Angeles Times they were not interested. I call the Chicago Tribune. Good. They were not interested. Buzzfeed was off and running. And it published 6am. Monday it was in solid shape. 

This this is this is July 2017 and the Harvey Weinstein’s stories don’t break in the New York Times and The New Yorker until October 2017. 

NB
And then you got that moment where he’s found guilty two decades after your first report. 

TV news reader
And then after years of accusations and acquittal in 2008, it only took the jury nine hours to convict him. Why was it so swift? 

NB
Describe that moment when the jury finally found him guilty of his crimes. 

JDR
You know, it’s not a feeling of elation. On day one, the first words the prosecutor had said in her opening arguments were essentially the lead that Abdon and I wrote on December 21 2000, and we called each other and we’re like, I can’t believe this. Didn’t we say this? Why did it take too long? 

As far as my personal feelings I always defer to those women who did the most difficult thing any woman can do: ripping out their soul talking about their sexual abuse and trusting a fat white rock critic to tell their story. Why did it take so many lives ruin to get this man to justice? 

NB
What’s the journalistic lesson? Jim, what’s the takeaway? Never give up?  

JDR
Yeah. Well, you know, part of it is I’m a thick headed guy who grew up in New Jersey and Chicago’s the most New Jersey place after New Jersey. I can’t leave a movie no matter how crappy it is, without knowing how it ended. Right. And I don’t think any journalist should ever walk away from a story until it has ended. 

Kelly abuse survivor
This happened to me a long time ago. I was 17. I’m 45 today. I never thought that I would be here to see him be held accountable for the atrocious things that he did to children. 

NB
Kate, they call you the Queen of Investigations. You really are the first lady of investigative reporting in Australia. 

Kate McClymont  (KM)
Oh, well look, that’s very kind. I don’t know whether I’d call myself as the Queen, in the office I’m known as the Queen of the files. 

NB
Kate McClymont of The Sydney Morning Herald is one of Australia’s finest investigative reporters, and the author of countless front-page splashes and exclusives, going back decades. 

KM
I think every bit of paper that I’ve ever kept, every bit of investigation is filed away. And it’s funny how someone says, ‘Do you know anything about x?’ And I say, as a matter of fact, I do. So if you go back through your files, because it’s amazing how many times people are linked to other people, you know, the same accountants, the same lawyers, the same pattern of bad behaviour. 

NB
They say that when The Sydney Morning Herald moves offices, and it’s done that a few times in recent years, most journalists could actually accommodate all their files in a couple of boxes, you need a removal truck of your own? 

KM
Well, exactly. Because I don’t like to throw things away. I always am getting message saying you’re iCloud Storage is full. So it’s not just physical files, you know, information is important. And joining the dots, they can just be a snippet of information in some file that will connect with something, you know, maybe 20 years later, but they do always emerge. 

NB
Is this a secret to your success Kate, this, this methodology, this this painstaking file keeping and this, this kind of forensic attention to small detail.  

KM
When people come to you with, you know, story ideas or tips, you know, they come to you in the most extraordinary fashion.  

One of my best tips was walking the dogs in the park. And I got chatting to another dog walker, who said, “You should look at what happened to my son’s home in Point Piper.” Now, Point Piper is not just the richest Street in Australia, it’s the 10th most expensive piece of real estate in the entire world. And I said what happened to your son, he said his house was fire bombed. So a fire bombing in the richest Street in Australia, to me was something that is interesting.  

So that then led to me meeting with the person who was believed to be the fire bomber, a guy called Michael McGurk, who told me that, you know, his life was in danger, and he was about to be killed. And I just sort of thought honestly these people tell you these things. And a week later, he was gunned down outside his home. And it was one of those weird coincidence that led to the most extraordinary stories of you know, political corruption, murder, property development, all from meeting somebody in a dog park, who just mentioned what had happened to his son. 

NB
Well, I was gonna ask you, Kate, do you find your stories? Or do the stories find you sometimes? 

KM
Look, I think it’s a little bit of both, inauspicious tips can lead to amazing results.  

I got a phone call from a reader of The Sydney Morning Herald. And he wanted me to look at a person called Michael Williamson. And I said, look, you know, forgive my ignorance, I have no idea who that man is. And he said, “he’s not only the Federal President of the Australian Labor Party, he’s also the head of one of the most powerful unions, the Health Services Union.” I said right, go on. He said, Well, okay. Union officials usually get a wage commensurate with their highest paid union employees so that they’re not, you know, brilliantly paid. And he said, this man has five children at private schools. Now in Australia, it costs a motza to send one child to a private school, let alone five. And my caller said he and his wife drive top of the line Mercedes. But the absolute annoying thing for my reader was that Michael Williamson consistently outbid the other parents at the school charity auction. So okay, you think well, you know, interesting.  

You know that the first thing that you do as an investigative journalist is once you get a tip like that, you look at the man. You do searches of corporate records to see what companies he’s a director of. You go to the annual reports of any, anything like the Health Services Union, and it didn’t take long before I found that the union official was a director of a company, an IT services company and well blow me down. That company had a million dollar contract to provide services to the Union. And of course, you have to declare related party transactions, nothing. I then look at his house and I go and check the local council and I see that his beautiful mansion has been renovated by the union architect. And so it went on. And it turned out that this man took almost $20 million from the union and on the payroll was his, you know, his son, his brother, his cousins. Anyway, as a result of my investigations, Michael Williamson ended up in jail for five years. All because he outbid somebody at the school charity auction. 

TV newsreader
Former Health Services Union boss, Michael Williamson has handed himself into a Sydney police station this morning, as investigations… 

NB
You have been uncovering wrongdoing in the city of Sydney for many decades. Over the course of that time, you have made many enemies, many of those enemies, are criminal, and violent people, I wonder what sort of personal threats have come your way over the years? 

KM
Look, I have had death threats and death threats delivered to my home. But in the back of my mind, I always, hold dear to one of my great police contacts, you know, when I said, Look, I’ve just had this death threat, what do you think I should do? And he said, Kate, it’s the ones you don’t get that you worry about the ones that you do get, you think they just want you to stop reporting, they don’t actually want to kill you, because it will be bad for business. I always keep that in mind, that it’s a threat, you always say to yourself that you have a duty to your readers to the general public, you know, you are their eyes and ears. So you have to keep going. So I must say, look, it’s all very well to say that. But now that my children are older, that was the thing that always worried me was that they would do something to my family, or to the pets that we’ve had over the years. But now I sort of think, well, you know, my children have got their own lives now. So I don’t have to worry about them so much. 

NB
I wonder what motivated you to begin with, to get into investigative reporting? Was it a crusading mission? 

KM
No, no completely by accident! You know a lot of things that happen in your life, you don’t know that you’ll enjoy it, or in fact, be any good at it until you do it. But now, I find it’s, it’s kind of a little bit addictive as well. For me doing a corporate search is must be like the adrenaline rush of people playing poker machines. Because you type in, you know, Nick Bryant, Proprietary Limited or big banana Proprietary Limited, and the excitement and anticipation of seeing who the shareholders are, who the companies are, is just, is fantastic. And it’s like putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, you find a little bit here and a little bit there, and people give you information. You know, it’s good, it’s enjoyable. But I know other people find, if your name’s not in the paper, then people think you don’t exist. And the worst thing you can ever say to an investigative journalist is, do you still work at the paper? Or have you been on holidays? When you haven’t been!

NB
You face legal intimidation as well, people try and sue for defamation. In the case of a guy called Eddie Obeid, a corrupt Australian politician who you exposed. He even succeeded at one point. And that puts an awful lot of pressure on you to make sure the story is watertight, to make sure it can withstand scrutiny in court that that’s a lot of pressure, Kate. 

KM
Well, it’s funny that nowadays, I don’t do a story without thinking I’m going to be sued. Every story I do, I think, okay, if I’m sued, who’s going to come to court? Who is going to give evidence? What do we have to back it up? And there’s been a couple of stories where we just have not been able to satisfy ourselves that if we do get sued, we’ll have people to come by.  

And it’s it’s a sad state of affairs for investigative journalism. That that’s how you have to think now and in Australia, Sydney, in fact, is regarded as the defamation capital of the world, we have more defamation cases than all of London and Wales combined. And you often feel that you’re, you know you’re fighting, you know, against, well fighting legal cases with one hand tied behind your back.  

 

For instance, in other jurisdictions, say, in the USA, there’s basically a public interest defence where public officials can’t sue for defamation, unless they can, they prove that it’s wrong, and that there was malice involved. Here, we have to prove every element of our story. And also, you know I got sued by a 96 year old man who had been named in a number of commissions adversely, and he suggested that I’d ruined his career, he was 96. And look, in the end, he dropped off, but not before, you know, we had to go to extraordinary lengths to prove things that had happened, you know, 35 years ago. 

NB
The cost of financing these investigations that often take years, that often, as you say, don’t produce day to day coverage, you can disappear. Your byline can disappear for, for many months at a time. I wonder if that’s become more difficult in immediate climate obviously, that hasn’t got the money that it did when you first started out in the trade? 

KM
Look, I think so. And I think it, it limits investigative journalism, mainly to well-resourced media companies. It’s really hard for, you know, online organisations, or bloggers, for instance, people like that to do serious investigative journalism. Because even if you are right, and you are sued, a top Queen’s counsel or senior counsel will cost $10,000 a day, A Day. And who has the resources to do that? 

NB
And Kate, I always think investigative journalists are a breed apart. Are there sort of personality traits that, that help you to become a really great investigative reporter?  

KM
Look, I don’t know. I don’t know whether there’s a certain amount of doggedness about us and also, you have to be very thick skinned. Eddie Obeid the former labor minister, who’s now in jail serving his second term for corruption. He used to say the most dreadful things about me in Parliament. And you know, I remember on one occasion, I rang up and he said, “You print one word about me out of place, and I will go for you, I will go for the jugular”.  

And you have to learn to separate yourself, your feelings, your anxieties, from the story, take yourself out of it. And if you’re scared, don’t ever let them know, you just, you know, keep going. So I think you know, and I’m friends with, you know, quite a few other investigative journalists and I’ve worked with a couple on a story. But this is certain sort of Lone Ranger quality to a lot of investigative journalists. And I love it when I’m working on a story with somebody else. It’s so nice to be able to say ‘Guess what I just found’, where when you’re doing that by yourself, you only have yourself to talk really to, so yes, I do think that there’s there are some similarities. Yes. 

NB
And what did you say when Eddie Obeid said I’m gonna go for your jugular. 

KM
I just said look, thank you very much, Mr. Obeid. That’s very kind of you. The more that they behave like that, the more there is to hide, the more that they have to lose. 

NB
Though I always dreamed of reporting from Washington, just like Woodward and Bernstein. I’ve never had the patience to be an investigative reporter to devote years, sometimes even decades to a single story. But I really admire colleagues with that kind of dedication. Often we associate a certain doggedness sometimes even a certain aggressiveness with the best practitioners of this art. But what struck me above all about Jim and Kate was their decency and empathy. It comes through in every answer. Success begets success. In investigative reporting. People approach certain journalists because they trust them to tell their stories. And what sets the best apart I suspect is their willingness to patiently listen.  

Journo is produced by Deadset Studios for the Judith Neilson Institute, which supports quality journalism and storytelling around the world. You can find out more about the institute’s programmes and events at jninstitute.org. Make sure you follow the podcast in your podcasting app. So you’re alerted each time we release a new episode. Our executive producer is Rachel Fountain, our producers are Grace Pashley and Britta Jorgensen. Sound design is by Melissa May. Our Managing Editor is Kellie Riordan and our Commissioning Editor is Andrea Ho at the Judith Neilson Institute. And I’m Nick Bryant. 

NB
Kate, I wonder what your advice is to the young Kate McClymont the Young Investigative reporter  starting out in our industry. 

KM
Oh. Patience. Patience, patience, patience. You play the long game. Don’t, Don’t think that you have to achieve everything in an instant. Just go about doing things, you know, methodically and it will all work out in the end… or maybe not.