The Outstater: Journalism for Dummies

May 18, 2018

A FRIEND EXPRESSED ADMIRATION for how quickly I was able to go through the morning newspaper. No, I explained, I’m not a speed reader. Reductions in newsroom staffing have had a lot to do with it, but also I am aided by a lifetime of amalgamated discernment. I know which stories can be ignored at no cost to my working knowledge. I am encouraged to list them here:

That will leave articles about animals. Although few, they will provide the models you’ll need to live to God’s specifications without delusion, complaint or excuse. “I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the lower animals and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man,” wrote Mark Twain. “I find the result humiliating to me.”

Is there a better story than that of Seabiscuit, an under-sized, knobby-kneed colt with a reputation for laziness that lost its first 17 races before retiring as the all-time leading money winner? How about Skip, the Oregon dog left by the road on a family vacation that finds its way home two years later?

There, you’ve saved a mess of time and you’re off to meet the day well-read and intellectually girded.

— Craig Ladwig



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