Friday, May 6, 2011


Pigs & Hammocks

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax,
Of cabbages and kings.
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."
—Lewis Carroll, 1872

This old walrus is lumbering off after another year of pontificating to talk and think of other things—or perhaps not to think much at all. The brain is cluttered and much too full. Commencement at Utah State University is tomorrow, and we're launching another 117 newly minted journalism and PR alumni into an unsuspecting world. Good luck to them and to the world.

This is the end of Season 15 of The WORD, and the nice young men in white coats from St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose are on the front porch to wrap me up and cart me off to the sanitarium for a nice, long, quiet rest. About time.

It's almost too tempting for a Professor of Interesting Stuff to offer one, last, perfect WORD to put the end point on the year. And after 15 years, the archives are full of almost perfect final words. But the best one comes, of course, from my mother, who famously said, “Shut up.”

Never did take good advice, so I’ll say one more thing and then shut up:

“What makes a good newspaperman? The answer is easy. He knows everything. He is aware not only of what goes on in the world today, but his brain is a repository of the accumulated wisdom of the ages. He is not only handsome, but he has the physical strength which enables him to perform great feats of energy. He can go for nights on end without sleep. He dresses well and talks with charm. Men admire him; women adore him; tycoons and statesmen are willing to share their secrets with him. He hates lies and meanness and sham, but he keeps his temper. He is loyal to his paper and to what he looks upon as the profession; whether it is a profession, or merely a craft, he resents attempts to debate it. When he dies, a lot of people are sorry, and some of them remember him for several days.”

—Stanley Walker, newspaperman,
The New York Herald-Tribune, 1924

Good thoughts, WORDs and hammocks to you all. See you in August.

Editorial Comment: Shaddup.

• A column for the end of the school year: Go, unlearn the lies we taught you

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