Politics Central: The Dominion of Opinion and How to Know When You're In It

Monday, August 21, 2006
Politics Central: The Dominion of Opinion and How to Know When You're In It: "Last year, in the wake of the news about publisher Judith Regan moving to L.A., I wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed about literary life in this city. This brought an email from some woman who remembered me from my Buzz magazine years, and wanted me to know my piece had “distressed” her because I described L.A. culture “in such a limited way… It’s upsetting to me to see a writer who has lived here for so long ignore all that the city and its residents have to offer.” Then she went on to list the L.A. writers she would have mentioned that I didn’t.

What I always think, when I get these kinds of letters, is: “Then write your own f***ing 1,100-word piece.”

Oh, actually I only think that when I’m in a bad mood. On happier days I think, Well, that’s the hazard, if you’re a sensitive soul, of reading the opinion section. Eventually you’re going to come across an opinion you don’t like. That can be distressing. Even upsetting! Maybe these pieces should all be prefaced by a little warning: Read at your own risk."

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