Surprise me

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August 8, 2017 by jacklovelace

A good friend and fellow journalist Wade Nelson died recently.

As I was thinking about him, I had a memory trigger about something he told me when he was a legman for the legendary Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Rokyo.

Wade and another journalist would follow up on tips, gather information, and turn it over to Rokyo.

Wade said he couldn’t count the times he was sure Rokyo would go in a certain direction with the information and his column, only to have Rokyo with that independent mind do a 180 degree turn.

It reminds me of how sad most columns are today. Predictable, pedantic, joyless, way too often.

The most obvious sin is predictable, particularly in politics. Rarely do I glance at a column and pause because it was something I didn’t expect from the writer. (The same case could be made for cable opinion regulars)

Rokyo columns were a surprise ready to happen.

I long for more writers, and commentators, who have that creative, independent, ornery, unpredictable, go against the grain stubbornness of the mind, to surprise us.

I’m afraid I’m going to be a long time longing.

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