Tuesday, June 21, 2005

We Love Guest Columnists!

It's getting late, but I'm still trying to figure out just what exactly Bob Rinearson was trying to say in the guest column he wrote for today's N-S. Good luck trying to find a thesis in there. As far as I can tell, it doesn't exist.

He starts out noting a recent study which shows that teenage brains are not as developed as adult brains. (Yes, I know: newsflash.) And then he gets lost in a jumble of words, none of which seem to lead to a point.

He uses a phrase that should be stricken from the pages of the N-S (and any other self-respecting newspaper) forever: back in the day. As in:
Back in the day, adults didn’t need scientific reports to understand the meaning of maturity. The very idea that a teenager is mentally, physically or spiritually ready to deal with the issues and vices traditionally reserved for adults is ludicrous.
But wait, it gets better. Rinearson follows that powerful paragraph up with an incredible closing in which he quotes -- and I'm not kidding -- Plato.
Plato once asked, “Shall we just allow children to hear any casual tale which may be devised by casual persons and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?” Perhaps we adults need to quit making it so easy for our children to become adults before their time.
So that's the point? That we need to stop making it easy to become adults "before children's time"? Someone please tell me what exactly that means. And if you can do that, then tell me how we fix it. But not only do I not know what Rinearson is talking about, he doesn't supply any suggestions on how I could take action against it.

Look, I get it that these are guest columnists. (Rinearson, Stein, etc.) Which means that they're amateurs. But no one points a gun at their head, makes them write something and then submit it for publication. If you choose to expose your work, it's fair for the people reading it to criticize it. I expose my thoughts here on this blog, and invite criticism. I even provide an easy way to comment on each post (something that I could easily deactivate if I chose to do so).

Bob Rinearson is not a professional journalist. (Clearly.) And neither am I. But you don't have to work for the sewer department to recognize a pile of...well, I think you know what I'm getting at.

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