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Monday, February 27, 2017, 10:11 a.m.


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Paul Greenberg

Photo of Paul Greenberg

Editorial Columnist

Editorial Columist

Recent Stories by Paul Greenberg

OPINION: Hear America talking

posted: 02/26/2017 1:59 a.m. Discuss

You gotta accentuate the positive

OPINION: PAUL GREENBERG: Sound of distant music

posted: 02/22/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 2

On this his birthday, George Washington remains the most admired but remote of American presidents, more portrait than person. He intended it that way.

OPINION: Column One: Education by the numbers

posted: 02/19/2017 1:58 a.m. Comments 2

Any innocent reader who ever wondered what education ought to be about now has his answer direct from Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has assured the state that education is really just a numbers game. "I take seriously objectives that we set as a state, and it's a challenge for us," the governor said as he signed into law a new formula for financing two- and four-year colleges in the state. Education should be a continuing experience, not a spending formula.

Commentary: PAUL GREENBERG: Skull and bones

posted: 02/15/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 5

For the second straight year, U. S. News & World Report has ranked northwest Arkansas among the top five places to live in the country. That's nice, but what counts is whether the people who live there like it. And what's not to like? That quadrant of the state has Bentonville, world capital of the Wal-Mart empire of retailing, and for culture-vultures there's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, to mention just a couple of its Ozarkian attractions. Mayor of Fayetteville Lioneld Jordan notes that the region also has a "welcoming spirit," which pays dividends in jobs and start-ups.

Column One: Venus caught in transit

posted: 02/12/2017 1:53 a.m. Comments 2

I saw Venus once. She looked tired. She was standing on the rear platform of a trolley car in Leningrad, which is what St. Petersburg used to be called in the 1980s, and she was disguised as just another shop girl who'd put in a hard day's work behind a counter. Or, even harder, had pretended to put in a hard day's work while time crawled. She must have been headed for her cramped little room in one of those neo-Stalinist high-rises that reduced the city around it to rubble waiting to happen. She seemed a sad figure with much to be sad about, and who wouldn't be in that even sadder time and place--despite the champagne and caviar served our delegation of visiting American editors with every sumptuous meal? We were treated like tsarist nobles at every stage-managed banquet while the mere Russians had to wait in long lines for just a glimpse of their own national treasures.

Column: PAUL GREENBERG: Tom Cotton messes up

posted: 02/08/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 8

If it can happen even in the best of families, it can certainly happen with the best of politicians, and this time did. Of all this state's congressional offices, Senator Tom Cotton's was the only one that drew the blinds and retreated into silence when a bunch of protesters that calls itself Ozark Indivisible came a-callin' and complainin'.

Column One: Newspeak lives on

posted: 02/05/2017 1:58 a.m. Comments 6

Who says popular taste is always misguided? It can draw a bead of greatness like an officer with the Indian Imperial Police, which Eric Arthur Blair was, and for which, as he later wrote, "I was totally unsuited." As unsuited as he would later prove at making propaganda for the BBC. It was as a colonial police officer called on to shoot a rogue elephant that he knew he'd better get the job done with a single, sure shot. Because a second chance wasn't likely to arise as those charging tusks emerged out of a cloud of dust and desperation.

Commentary: PAUL GREENBERG: In such an age

posted: 02/01/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

George Orwell, also known as Eric Blair, put it like this: "All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one's own personality. Good prose is like a window pane. I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed. And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally."

Column One: Letter from limbo

posted: 01/29/2017 2:13 a.m. Comment 1

Greetings, Dear Brother, We who were never born send you a hearty Sholom Aleichem, Peace unto you and yours.

Column: PAUL GREENBERG: Call this number now!

posted: 01/25/2017 5:45 a.m. Discuss

The old gas heater in the bathroom clicked, clicked, clicked and finally caught on and started to turn the little room into our personal sauna. All we needed was some birch branches with a sting to them and it could have been a scene from an Ingmar Bergman movie. The dour, shrouded figure of death, who was always waiting in the wings of a Bergman production, was kept where He belonged: waiting. Here all was life, and life was good for the transient moment.






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