Category: Newspaper columns

Let me help you understand the world of cable “news”

Let me help you understand the world of cable “news”

Reporting the news is complicated business. If you just report the facts, you might fall into the trap of being accurate but boring. If you infuse your reporting with a little humor and creative flair, you might be editorializing. And no matter what you do, they’ll hate you for it. About the only benefit you get from reporting the news is high blood pressure and the intrinsic rewards of knowing that what you’re doing is a crucial element of our […]

Sometimes, resolutions are for the Dawgs

Sometimes, resolutions are for the Dawgs

Every year, I make a few New Year’s resolutions. I don’t usually make them public because the last thing I need in my life is someone holding me accountable to what I say or write. It’d be like if President Trump said something like, “We’re gonna build a big, beautiful wall, and Mexico is gonna pay for it,” and his supporters actually held him to it. No, I can’t handle accountability any more than he can. Unfortunately, I can’t blame […]

Debriefing Santa Claus

Debriefing Santa Claus

Today we celebrate Christmas Day — or Jimmy Buffett’s birthday if you’re more into being a Parrothead than into religion. Better yet, throw on a tropical shirt, put on that “A1A” album and open some presents. After all, the jolly old elf Santa Claus put a lot of work into circumnavigating the Earth last night in search of good little boys and girls to leave presents under the tree. Unfortunately, Santa is an unusually foul mood today. I caught up […]

Larry David and I agree on a few things — especially small talk

Larry David and I agree on a few things — especially small talk

One of my former bosses at the Ledger-Enquirer — whom I, with fond affection, called “Pork Chop” — kept trying to get me to watch some HBO show called “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” At the time, I didn’t even have HBO and barely watched any TV that wasn’t sports or news.  (Yes, kids, there was a time when there were news channels that told you what was happening in the world instead of offering perpetual punditry.) I declined, but Pork Chop […]

Y’all should never call

Y’all should never call

I’m not a huge fan of being around humans. I’ve probably mentioned it before. I mean, as a mammal, they are highly overrated. In fact, I just spent this past Saturday on Georgia’s largest barrier island, Cumberland Island, which allows only about 250 or so folks on it a day — or as I like to call it when I’m there, about 248 too many. I don’t like small talk. I don’t want to talk about the weather. I don’t […]

The eyes have it — and whatever it is needs fixing

The eyes have it — and whatever it is needs fixing

My wife and I passed an optometrist’s office yesterday, and she used the opportunity to suggest I might need to consider updating my prescription — which I’ve had roughly since Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals while trying to read what he wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanack during a thunderstorm. “We need to go by there and get you some new glasses and contacts,” she suggested. “I can’t see that happening,” I argued. “You can’t see anything — that’s why you need […]

I doubt Harry and Meghan need a toaster

I doubt Harry and Meghan need a toaster

When I was in junior high school, Prince Charles married Diana Spencer, and every girl at my school was swooning over the whole marrying-a-prince fantasy. Every boy at my school only cared about not being last to the monkey bars at recess and therefore being “it” first in a 10-minute game of tag. Not only did I not care about that wedding or any wedding at that age, but I couldn’t figure out why any country still had royalty or […]

No one can read what I write

No one can read what I write

Last week I watched an excellent — if a couple hours too long — two-part HBO special called “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.” It was produced and directed by Judd Apatow, who considered Shandling his mentor. The show took a deep look at one of the greatest comedic minds of our time by mixing in clips and interviews amid short handwritten musings from Shandling’s diaries. As the handwriting would appear, I was struck by how much pain this guy, […]