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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
News / Opinion / Columns

Jayne: I have the best words; let’s make columns great again

By Greg Jayne, Columbian Opinion Page Editor
Published: June 18, 2017, 6:02am

I write the best columns. Nobody writes better columns than I do. They’re huge; they’re beautiful; everybody loves my columns. Believe me.

You already knew that; I have written about it before. Over and over and over again. I have written about the hugeness of my columns many, many times, because if you repeat something often enough, people believe it. And readers love my columns. When I meet with important people, I show them a map of my readership, even if it has nothing to do with the conversation.

So, I recently called my staff together — a tremendous staff, by the way, because I surround myself with the best people — and we sat around a table — a terrific table, the most beautiful table you’ve ever seen — and I thought, “I’m tired of talking about myself. They should talk about me for a while.” I thought this. I thought, “We’re going to make columns great again because I write the best columns.”

That’s what columnists do when they get tired of winning. They say how great they are, and then they have others say how great they are.

So I started with, “Never has there been a columnist, with few exceptions, who’s written more columns, who’s done more things than I have.” It was huge and beautiful, because I write the best columns. And then we went around the table.

One person said, “I am privileged to be here. Deeply honored, and I want to thank you for being — your commitment to the American columnist.”

Low energy. Very low energy. Not tremendous enough. Sad!

Another said, “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda and the columns.”

Terrific! It almost made my hands swell to normal size. But, you know, they can do better.

Maybe something like: “It is just the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as the — as vice columnist to the columnist who’s keeping his word to the readers and assembling a team that’s bringing real change, real columns, real strength back to our newspapers.”

Classy! That was almost as classy as the time somebody sang, “Without you, there would be no us! Without you, there would be no motherland!” Oops, sorry, that’s a North Korean anthem. It came to mind for some reason.

I write for Vancouver

All of this might seem strange to you, this ritual of having highly successful people go around the table and say how great I am while I sit there and revel in the glory of their loyalty and devotion.

You might think I’m a deranged, adolescent columnist who constantly craves attention and validation to make up for my breathtaking incompetence. Like I am a disturbed narcissist with delusions of grandeur. Like I am a psychologically unstable megalomaniac. Wrong! Those words have far too many syllables to be in my vocabulary. Believe me!

But I don’t care about what losers think. Because I write for the people of Vancouver, not Vienna. I write for the people of Ridgefield, not Rome. I write for the people of Camas, not Cachoeiro de Itapeirim.

And we need to make columns great again.

One time, I asked, “At what point do columns get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as columnists?” How is that for self-awareness? I have the best self-awareness because I have covfefe.

See what I did there? I said “covfefe.” Because I know words; I have the best words. I said that once. I said: “I know words; I have the best words. I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid.”

When you’re a columnist, you have to have the best words, and I know words. And with the best words, we can make columns great again.

Now, you might think this sounds like the ravings of an incompetent charlatan. But that’s OK; I’m just a columnist. It’s not like I’m president of the United States or anything.