Hot, yet thoughtful post July 4 takes
From politics, to Sooner sports, coaching and the squared circle, dive in and see if you agree
Maybe you’ve noticed.
Though I’m always writing in my own voice; see myself as a columnist, trading in facts but in service of strongly felt conclusions; here to persuade rather than report in a vacuum, context free as though what’s happening in the world comes without consequence or explanation … I nonetheless frequently elude writing in the first person.
That is, writing without invoking “I” or “me.”
I use first person more here than in my newspaper days, but it’s not habitual and NOT required to come down strongly. In fact, it can weaken your points.
Instead, I frequently write in “Voice of God.” As though the conclusions are self evident — “I’m not saying they are, or that I think they are; they just are, because they are” — and anyone with an ounce of critical thinking should realize as much.
So, aspiring columnists, take note.
If you’re writing an opinion piece, it’s often more persuasive not to tell your readers they should agree with you because you believe something, but they should agree with you because anybody in their right mind would.
Play with it.
I mention all of this because today’s piece is full of “I think …”
In fact, every point will begin with just those words. Some I may believe are utterly self evident and others simply an opinion in a world in which others are defendable, too.
Perhaps you’ll see yourself in these thoughts. Perhaps you’ll enjoy them because they’re inimitably mine, random and strange and apropos of nothing.
• I think it’s a crime the radical right, here and everywhere, wrap their radicalization in the flag, stealing it from the thoughtful and tolerant critically thinking masses who believe in a greater good more than their own tax breaks and religious nationalism. It is a thought I come back to every July 4.
• I think it’s ridiculous soccer linesmen, when the ball’s screaming past them along the ground and out of bounds, do not stick their foot out and stop it rather than let it go, taking 30 seconds of action from the rest of us watching.
• I think Ryan Walters is 50-50 to finish his term and 50-50 to eventually be charged with a crime, be it one of omission because he’s too lazy to follow the rules, or one of commission because he thinks they don’t apply to him; or one we can’t possibly imagine, but that will in retrospect explain his hating-Americans-not-like-him insanity.
• I think basketball coaches who pull their rebounders away from the paint when shooting free throws are A) giving up points; B) announcing they won’t fight for every possession; C) announcing they’re not strong enough coaches to teach their players how to chase an offensive rebound without fouling or to get back defensively when there’s no rebound to grab.