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Newspaper readership is declining like crazy. In fact, there's a good chance that nobody is reading my column.
One column of truth cannot hold an institution of ideas from falling into ignorance. It is wiser that a person of prudence and purpose save his strength for battles that can be won.
Bryant H. McGill
Never in our country's history have we witnessed a natural disaster that has impacted so many people in such a wide area. In fact, as of the writing of this column, millions of people along the Gulf Coast have been displaced from their homes in a period of only five days.
Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.
Each of us is carving a stone, erecting a column, or cutting a piece of stained glass in the construction of something much bigger than ourselves.
In my column series 'The Main Thing', I often talk about how Internet technology can improve the way people communicate - both within a business and between a business and its customers and partners.
Consider the momentous event in architecture when the wall parted and the column became.
When I turned 45, I lay in bed reflecting on all life had taught me. My soul sprang a leak and ideas flowed out. My pen simply caught them and set the words on paper. I typed them up and turned them into a newspaper column of the 45 lessons life taught me. When I hit 50, I added five more lessons and the paper ran the column again.
A good column is one that sells paper. It doesn't matter how beautifully it is written and how much you admire the author... if it doesn't sell any papers, it's not a good column. It's a terrible yardstick to use, but in the newspaper business, that's the whole thing.
I've had to write a column an hour after I've come back from a funeral. A deadline is a deadline, I mean, that was just what my job was.
Sometimes I talk to religious people about my column or what I do, and I ask them to, you know, read 20 or 30 of them and then come tell me that the message at the heart of every column isn't, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' In every possible sense.
I find interesting characters or lessons that resonate with people and sometimes I write about them in the sports pages, sometimes I write them in a column, sometimes in a novel, sometimes a play or sometimes in nonfiction. But at the core I always say to myself, 'Is there a story here? Is this something people want to read?'
You only worry about your head or spinal column. Everything else, some way or another, will repair in time.
I sometimes read in a gossip column that I was at a party when I was in Europe at the time. It sometimes feels I've got a Doppelganger somewhere.
I came in the league as not a shooter, not a scorer. My game was to play defense and make my teammates better. The most important stat to me was that left column - winning. Nothing else matters.
When I was writing my column, I would almost always be recognized when I was in a restaurant, even if I was reviewing it and had booked under a fake name, so free stuff would start coming out of the kitchen on a conveyer belt, fantastic wines would be opened at my table. Now I can't even get a reservation on the pizza joint on the corner.
Column writing is like gas - it fills the available space.
I really like the Observer. I think I'd love to have a column with a broad reach that would enable me to do some proper reporting, but keep it on sort of a humorous level. I've always had a very happy experience writing for them.
I was once hired to write a column for 'The Guardian' and then got fired before I'd submitted my first one. That was unusual. Most newspapers wait until I've written at least one piece for them before firing me.
Once I was in a cafe in Portland and the woman at the next table and I began chatting and in the course of our conversation she strongly recommend I visit this web site called 'The Rumpus' so I could read this advice column called 'Dear Sugar.' It was so painful not to tell her that in fact I was Sugar, but I didn't.
Usually, I take a hike for a while after submitting a column to Townhall. Too much of my insensitivity can cause emotional problems among proggies, and I am, after all, a compassionate man.
It had run as a column - I had worked at the paper since 1976, but the column had been running for 13 years, and I think it was a strong column, criticizing the war when the paper was supporting it.
Think of a forest, then imagine taking 10,000 trees and squeezing them together until there is essentially no space between them. That's what the neocortical column looks like.
It's true that I'm taking a break from writing a regular column to do other things but it's got nothing to do with what dear Simon has or has not written.
The bailout of Fannie Mae is completely off the books. It's going to cost us hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet nobody is placing this in any type of column in accounting for federal debt.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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