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Opinion: A few thoughts while approaching column deadline

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One hour before deadline:Well here I sit with a deadline looming to write this column. And yet nothing has truly piqued my interest. Or at least enough to waste precious ink and newsprint.

But as with all things in the newspaper business, deadlines wait for no man.

My first instinct is to pen something thoughtful on the violence in the Mideast and try to arrive at some rational thought on the situation.

But as with most of you, I know nearly not enough to reach some logical conclusion. And quite frankly, I fear our leaders know little more than you and I.

That in itself is a frightening thought.

30 minutes before deadline:

OK, so my editor is glaring over my shoulder with not-so-veiled threats concerning the consequences of missing a deadline.

Maybe I should write about the infighting in the Romney camp on the mixed signals concerning both foreign and domestic policies that threaten our nation.

But then again, infighting is fairly commonplace in political campaigns so why follow MSNBC and try to create a controversy when none probably exists.

OK, I'll just play it safe and confuse the Democrats by supporting Jay Nixon in his re-election bid for governor. That would leave them scratching their progressive heads now wouldn't it.

No, that's too easy.

10 minutes before deadline:

The editor's glare has turned into threatening tones of frustration.

You would think the world of newspapering would come to a screeching halt if these few words arrive later than expected!

But having done this for a while, I know better.

I've already scanned the world headlines and nothing new strikes me.

Those learned folk in the major news centers are mostly parroting the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post for their impartial talking points.

But as shocking as it might be, sometimes we small rural folk have a starkly different take on the news than those highflying city folk.

So I'll ignore their "analysis" because, quite frankly, I suspect they have a different agenda.

Call me a cynic!

5 minutes before deadline:

I'm out of both excuses and time. The editor's glare has now turned threatening and physical violence is but moments away.

I shut my office door for a moment of serious reflection -- as if that closed door will somehow open my mind and spur the creative juices.

But then -- having read more than I care to about problems and worries and concerns and violence and pure hatred toward this nation -- one word kept returning in all of the stories from around the world.



With no time remaining, I'll make this brief or suffer untold consequences of a serious sort.

Trying to impose American values on others has failed. Massive untold billions of dollars in "aid" has failed.

Policies of appeasement have failed.

Our administration's signs of weakness have failed.

We have failed those who serve this country.

And policies that promote economic stupidity have failed.

We are not better off in any single regard today than in the past.

And those in whom we have entrusted the future of this great nation have failed!

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.......and, as usual, you have failed to write a coherent column.

-- Posted by Raunchy on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 9:48 AM

When I was working for The Athens (OH)Messenger, I had to produce five photo essays a week. I KNOW what deadline pressure is all about.

Here's an example of that struggle:


The best incentive was to know that if I missed deadline, the 9x17 hole would be filled with white paper surrounded by black rule and containing "This Space Donated by Ken Steinhoff, Former Chief Photographer."

P.S., I once wrote a column similar to your scratchings, but I was in high school.

-- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 10:28 AM

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