People Out Loud: Uncensored

January 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

dixonBy Dixon Bledsoe

It is difficult writing a column, even though only monthly. Those professionals who write a column weekly have my utmost respect, although most have a larger playing field.

As a political junkie, it would be easy to write about the host of presidential wannabes jockeying for position in Iowa ahead of the 2016 primaries and elections. As a true sports fan, I could write for hours on classy people like Russell Wilson, quarterback of the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota of the Oregon Ducks, or their exact opposites – Jameis Winston of Florida State and Ray Rice. I could write about Kim Kardashian, one of the most followed and least consequential people in Hollywood that media has ever regurgitated onto our collective doorstep, or the apparent yet totally unexpected fall of Bill Cosby.

Alas, here it is 2015 and I am struggling for ideas. It is typical to write about resolutions that, when made, come undone by a pack of Oreos, or make up pretend headlines I would like to see during this new year, but who wants to become a cliché. I have to be careful, too, when expressing opinions out loud. A woman I have never met barked at me, “I know who you are. I hate your stupid column because you always express your opinions.” I don’t think she really picked up on the gist of an opinion column and maybe thinks I should write about an instructional manual for making cat sweaters.

A man who I have never met is a prolific poster on social media. Anyone who expresses a divergent opinion from his is instantly and verbally transformed into pond scum. Yes, it is tough to put myself out there knowing some will agree with me and some will lambaste me. One person thinks I can be rather Pollyannaish, but to her I say that not only is my glass half full, I am damn glad to have the glass.

As a columnist it is my job to speak freely without too much self-censoring so that it prompts others to hear what they might have wanted to say but were afraid to, or to disagree without fear of reproach. So here is what I’m going to do for my first POL of 2015 – a resolution, a headline wish, a political snippet, a sports item, an entertainment tip, a goodbye and a thank you.

I resolve to practice more patience and not make my cranky face when my wife asks me a simple question during the middle of a Big Bang Theory rerun that I have seen six times in the last eight months. It’s a real ugly face. My hope is to see this headline – People Out Loud Wins Major Award for Columns Written by a Guy Named Dixon.

In the political arena, I hope two presidential candidates emerge as true leaders that most people can support and respect, that they play fair, and have the country’s best interest at heart. It is time for at least one of them to have estrogen. Fresh faces, please apply.

I want to see Gary Andersen, Oregon State’s new football coach, leading the chant, “We want Oregon.” New year, new elite. I hope Hollywood continues to fight for free speech and against censorship, but doesn’t fall on its sword again over Grade B movies like The Interview.

I want to say goodbye to the best mother-in-law a guy could hope for, Carol McDonald, dear friend Judy Schmidt, and 2014, a year that, except for a college graduation, a wonderful wedding, a new son-in-law and a banner year in the real estate, needs to slowly fade away. And a heartfelt thanks to all who said you enjoyed reading People out Loud. Both of you were so kind.

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