Why do so many columns in print and on the Internet come across as rants? One reason is that the writers are more interested in venting their opinions about issues than they are about honestly exploring a subject for the readers' benefit. So their reader base ends up being only those who agree with the writer. There is very little to learn from those whose opinions never change, and many of those single-mindset readers drift away; they get bored hearing themselves talk. Of course, the other problem with today's bloggers and columnists is that their writing is so pedestrian. They have no concept of how to turn phrase, they don't know a metaphor from an overripe melon, and they don't know how to show rather than tell.    

Which brings me to Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writers Group, whose column appears every Wednesday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Man, this lady can write! People refer to her as a conservative columnist, but most of the time you would have no idea about her political leanings. She tackles issues as a real journalist, and her columns are phenomenally rich with insight, good humor and hope. Here's a snippet from a column about the Mubarak meltdown in Egypt published in the AJC on February 16, 2011:

"Perhaps we are not doomed after all.

"This possibility is suggested by a single vignette from Thursday night when protesters reacting to Mubarak's profoundly banal speech raced to the palace and stood in front of tanks. Unarmed men and women inspired by tweets of freedom stared into the bullying armaments of dead ways.

"It was a stark image of the prolonged battle between good and evil that humans apparently have been fated to fight. This time, enabled by what we casually call social media, evil finally may be outgunned."

Wow! Now that, Billy Blogger, is how to write a column. If you need a columnist and Kathleen isn't available, Trumpet Call can help.


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