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Why do I bother?

I'm moderately proud of my writing abilities, my skills as an "essayist" (as Kevin calls me). But every now and then, I find someone who is so much better at it than I am that I wonder why I ever thought I'd be any good at this gig.

Bill Whittle is one of those people. His ability to craft an essay leaves me in awe. He will give long, detailed vignettes, two and three and four at a time, that seemingly have nothing to do with each other -- and then tie them all together into a single, unifying theme. I almost never see the theme coming despite his generously giving it to us in the title.

My sole consolation is that Bill Whittle is slow. I know that "deliberative" or "thoughtful" or "contemplative" would be fairer words, but I don't feel like being fair. I, like so many others, sometimes resent those above me, and in my desire to beat them, try to drag them down rather than to elevate myself. So yeah, I say he's slow. He's ponderous. He's glacial.

But I also say that with a tinge of gratitude. I know that sometimes quantity has a quality of its own. I know that on almost any given day, I have something newer, fresher, than he does.

Today ain't one of those days.


Go, read, and be enlightened. I'll be off in the corner by myself, drinking and muttering vague threats.

Comments (8)

Just read it -right on the ... (Below threshold)

Just read it -right on the money!

Why do I blog for "fun," wh... (Below threshold)

Why do I blog for "fun," when all I end up doing is swearing and cursing at the better work of others?

Yes, we are a strange lot, J.

Okay, I just finished readi... (Below threshold)

Okay, I just finished reading it, too. Now I remember why I blog for "fun."

Everytime I hit "post", I hope to touch something as brilliant as that. That's something to shoot for.

Just read it. Thanks J for ... (Below threshold)
Moon Monkey:

Just read it. Thanks J for the heads up on this one...like the posts above me, I am humbled. I'm not sure where I could begin commentary on Bill's piece,save to say that I feel so very happy and proud that he's on our team.

This was a wonderful post..... (Below threshold)

This was a wonderful post.. thanks for passing this along.

Thanks, Jay Tea. Now I hav... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Jay Tea. Now I have one more thing to suck precious hours out of my life because it's too damn good to stop reading. I appreciate it.

I've just hoisted a big tum... (Below threshold)

I've just hoisted a big tumbler full of whiskey in your direction, said thanks for pointing this out.... then went back to my own sullen muttering.

Bill Whittle's "Tribes" is ... (Below threshold)

Bill Whittle's "Tribes" is brilliant, and gives voice, form and frame to the sloppy mishmash of unconnected ideas and opinions on modern American culture that most of us have. It is no less than the "Cultural Grand Unified Theory", in that it does no less than explain, in simple terms and concepts, what the cultural differences are in this country, why they exist, what type of people tend to which attitudes and why, and ultimately what the results tgo the nation are from those differecnes.

I kid you not, it is breathtakingly brilliant. And so good that Whittle may have made a permanent name for himself among persons who see and care about the culture wars.






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