Wednesday, July 21, 2004

My First Blog

I’ve had no experience with this method of delivering a column, but I understand it is much more personal. So I begin with the first person singular.
I’m given unlimited space. What writing talent I possess is to say as much as possible with as few words as possible, and being sure that every word is the best word for the message.
Now I have to adjust to "let it flow."
I’m still a print writer, but the mechanics of delivery have changed. Access to the Internet is necessary. This column, or blog, or weblog, or whatever you want to call it, will be delivered through this website. Not all Daily Herald readers have computers, but I think most do, and most use the Internet.

The Flavor of Columns
A word about columns. They are the salt and pepper of newspapers.
I have always tried to be informative and provocative and fair. There is a cliché that "doctors bury their mistakes." But a factual error in the column, or a really stupid line of reasoning, is out there for everyone to see. Readers let us know.
The Daily Herald covers the whole spectrum, from how the latest bombing in Iraq affects a family in Naperville down to the week’s menu at local schools. And everything in between.
One can be well informed on state, national, and world affairs by reading the Herald. You can be better informed by adding the Chicago papers and even better informed by adding the New York Times and one or two of the weekly news magazines.
But no medium comes remotely close to the Herald in local coverage. There a journalistic cliché that "all news is local," but that isn’t entirely accurate. What is unchallenged is that you can’t have too much local news. A major reason why the Daily Herald is one of the few newspapers in the U.S. with a growing circulation is that we swamp the competition with our local coverage. We have 28 different local editions.

LOL
That’s "laugh out loud" in Weblog talk. No matter what devices circulate my column, I’m always going to cover serious subjects and always work in some fun. Fred Arenas of Arlington Heights and I have become personal friends through the Internet. When he isn’t flying big airliners on charter flights, Fred indulges his voracious appetite for fun and philosophy. Here are some of the most recent he relayed to me:

  • "What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce." — Mark Twain
  •  "I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap." — Bob Hope
  • "My doctor’s advice—if it tastes good, spit it out." — J. H. Hogan
  • "The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and have the two as close together as possible." — George Burns
  • "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury." — Groucho Marx
  • "What’s the use of happiness? It can’t buy money." — Henny Youngman
  • "Maybe it’s true that life begins at 50. But…everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out." — Unknown.
A Political Observation
Democrat Barack Obama is almost certain to be our next U.S. senator. The political gossip is that whoever serves as sacrificial lamb against Obama will be rewarded with the nomination for governor, where he or she will probably lose.
Illinois is a Democratic state. White House strategists are making it a special target to convert to a Republican state.
All that stands in their way are Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Rod Blagojevich and whoever the GOP finds to run against Obama.

One Last Thing
The spellchecker for this blog doesn't recognize the word "blog." It suggests "bloc."



26 Comments:

Blogger Rick Beato said...

As a longtime high school journalism teacher, I have been a loyal Jack Mabley reader for over 30 years. It was good to have a new Mabley to read this morning after a few weeks of waiting between venues.
Now in following through to make a comment, it seems I have signed up for my own blog. So you can see some of the power of your work, Jack. If I can learn to blog, perhaps I will challenge some of my journalism students to join us this fall.
At any rate, keep up the great work. It is great to have you back.

July 22, 2004 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger Michael Van Winkle said...

Welcome to the blogosphere Jack. In the imortal words of a couple of a couple of Saturday Night Live stars, "we're not worthy". It's guys like you that will give all bloggers a good name. Let's hope we can live up to it. My blog is www.chicagoreport.net. I'd be honored if you'd check it out from time to time.

As an aspiring columnist I look forward to words of advice in your blog.

July 22, 2004 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Rich from Hanover Park said...

I was surprised not to see a big white space in Sunday's Daily Herald where your column should be. Welcome to the Wonderful World of the Internet!
Now for a rant.
How come the Health Insurance companies will insure you in a group policy if you are working, but won't give you an individual policy after you leave the group, if you have a pre-existing condition that was insured with the group?
However, the very same insurance company through the State of Illinois CHIP program, will sell the same policy for a very inflated price. Hmmmm....

July 22, 2004 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Wayne Kankovsky said...

All of your fans without internet access can always go to their local public library to read your postings! I'm a Trustee of the Helen M. Plum Memorial Library in Lombard, and we are very proud of our public access service.

July 23, 2004 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Jim Q said...

As someone who disagrees immensely with Jack's views lately, I still have to respect his standing in the journalist community. The man is a master at his craft. It will be interesting to come to this site.

July 23, 2004 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger marlinrob said...

Jack Mabley's column was the first thing I read on Sunday morning. Although I only "discovered" him a few years ago, and do not always agree with his perspective, his insight and wit was always clear and concise.

Jack, like you I am new to the blog world. I look forward to following you on your latest journey.

Congratulations.

July 23, 2004 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Sam & Sally said...

We are so happy to see your Blog. My husband always looked forward to the Herald, I think only to read your column. When he found out you were leaving he was very sad!

We found your blog site and we wish you best wishes and continued writing success. You are so often so right on and hope you keep on writing from your heart.

Sinverely,
Dotti and Scott

July 24, 2004 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger al said...

While I'm not a fan of Jack's content his style was generally worth a few minutes. Besides I always thought it was a good idea to know what the opposition was thinking.

Anyways the comment "Illinois is a Democratic state. White House strategists are making it a special target to convert to a Republican state."

I think that if one was to remove the city of Chicago (and possibly Cook County) from the state and the White House would have no work to do at all...

July 27, 2004 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger WALTER SANTI said...

As a retiree,I was made to feel like a teen ager today by one of those self check out scanners at the super market. I scanned some beer and a voice yelled out "approval needed." Hmm. I haven't been carded for many a moon so evidently a chip has yet to be invented to scan one for age. How wonderful!

August 3, 2004 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Scotsman said...

Thanks to Jack Mabley, the recently retired, renowned newspaper columnist, I have now originated my own 'blog'. What I will have to say has yet to be determined. But I have kept a daily 'log' for over 65 years. Some may refer to it as a 'journal' or more to my distaste a 'diary'. Having served in the US Navy a number of years ago I selected the term 'log' for my musings. Needless to say that was long before someone out there coined the term 'blog' which I am led to believe is condensed from Web-log a practice which has become common in the Internet World.

August 10, 2004 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm so glad to have "found" you again! I just started reading you when we subscribed to the Daily Herald three years ago, and I always enjoyed your columns. I'm not sure I fully appreciated them though. Now that you are no longer in print, I miss your column greatly. The inside of the back page doesn't quite hold my interest like it did before. Ever since you retired and mentioned starting a blog, I've been waiting to find it, and now I have. Thanks, I've missed you.

August 18, 2004 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger AW said...

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Glad to see you have transformed your "print" energy into a different format so I can continue to enjoy your perspective on the world.

September 8, 2004 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger SueInArizona said...

I grew up reading your column in the Daily Herald and have laughed (and cried) along with you for years. After moving to Arizona in 1999, I continued to read both the Daily Herald and your columns via the internet. I'm so glad you are still writing and look forward to further entries in your blog. Thank you for bringing a bit of "home" to me weekly!

September 26, 2004 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger highrpm said...

Jack you still around?

November 26, 2004 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger highrpm said...

Jack you still blogin?

November 26, 2004 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger jim bown said...

Dear Mr. Mabley, I live in Dixon Il not too far from the Mabley Center and the old Dixon Developmental Center. I'm also immediate past president of The Arc of Illinois and The Arc of Lee County which gives me a little insight of your huge contributions in the field of developmental disabilities. Beside the former Developmental Center is a sterile cemetary with approx 1,000 graves and uniform headstones. No one, not one, pays respect to the persons who fought a gallant fight for respect and dignity on any of the usual holidays set aside. This Tuesday, Flag Day, we are going to have a simple ceremony at the site, plant approx 200 flags, flowers, several former residents of the institution speak, a minister to say appropriate words, and the newspaper to record what I hope will become a yearly event here in Dixon. Standing in that one spot you can see, or visit the progression of freedom, for people with disabilities to be able to live within the least restrictive environment (as todays words go). You were a start of this freedom. From the former Developmental Center that used to house 4,000 (I think) to the current Jack Mabley Center that houses 117 in six homes, to an ICFDD housing 10 consumers, a ranch SLA with six apartments, and several streets over is my sons house that he owns and lives in with minimal community support (he is percsptually handicapped, one of the old labels).
We are always advocating for more and better but I'm old enough to appreciate what good was done in the past.
It would be a distinct honor to have your presence at this ceremony on June 14 at 11:00 AM in Dixon. If necessary I would be happy to send a car for your transportation. My phone is 815-284-2593 and I hope you get my e-mail from this transmission.

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