When one is attempting to write a weekly column, however, no shortage of topics exists. The hard part is finding what to say.
It’s a crowded media landscape, see. Every blog, twitter feed and facebook page gives the user a platform to shout at incredible volumes about whatever might be the germane topic of the day.
The debt ceiling, for example. Nearly every pundit on every network and in every corner of the Internet has an opinion about this “crisis” and wants to share it.
Does anyone actually understand the issue, though? I know I certainly do not. It’s not like I haven’t tried; I’ve read and watched everything I can about it, but my journalism degree only allows me to comprehend so much before turning off.
This seems to be the case for most people — an issue this complicated simply can’t be reduced to 30-second talking points. Instead, it’s easier to line up with the politicians we like, and just sort of agree with what they say (important note: I’m fairly certain most of our legislators don’t understand the debt ceiling in detail, either).
Or what about the weather? Mark Twain famously said that everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it. In the case of the current heat wave, though, I wonder if talking about it doesn’t somehow make it worse.
As part of his opening remarks to his football campers this summer, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban warned them all — 8-9-10-year-olds, mostly — not to complain about the heat.
“It’s hot outside,” he said. “Nobody needs to say it again.”
Expect to hear that refrain a lot this week, as football practice and band camps and cheerleader camps open up around the area. Yes, we know it’s hot outside. No, we’re not going to stop work because of it. Yes, you should take precautions. No, no one wants to hear you whine about it again.
There are plenty of other potentially column-worthy topics out there. There’s our continuing recovery from the worst natural disaster of my lifetime — and by the way, the workers in Shoal Creek Valley could use some liquids to cope with the heat; or the pending special election to fill a local legislative seat right here at home.
Or, perhaps, there’s a column out there about a columnist’s inability to come up with a column. Of course, nobody would really read that, would they?
Contact Will Heath at email@example.com.