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Assignment Two: Syndicated Columnist Assignment

Art Buchwald, in his essay “Anchor’s Away: The Life of Walter” (2009), implies that we should move on to better things, instead of holding onto what we are losing. Buchwald provides a backstory of Walter Cronkite, who is known as the the most trusted man in America, and sarcastically implies that it will be a struggle to replace him, “the American people will have to find another person in this country that can trust. With a population of only 220 million citizens to choose from, it isn’t going to be easy”(41). Buchwald’s purpose is to invoke the idea that changing something very dear to us isn’t always bad. He establishes a relationship with his audience of television watchers who are familiar with “CBS nightly news” (2).

Art Buchwald, in his column “Le Grande Thanksgiving” (2011), challenges the idea of explaining something to a different audience. Buchwald attempts to explain the history of Thanksgiving to the French, by using French translations and humor to get his point across, “a group of Pilgrims (pelerins) who fled…where they could shoot Indians (les Peaux-Rouges) and eat turkey (dinde) to their heart’s’ content”(3). The purpose of this column is to tell a story that can be viewed from another angle. Buchwald reached out to the French and Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving, “no matter how well fed American families are, they never forget to give thanks to Kilometers Debout Ish, who made this great day possible”(56).

Art Buchwald, in his column “Goodbye, My Friends” (2006), reflects on the idea of serious topic put in a lighter situation. Buchwald makes it clear that this is his final column but he jokingly states, “there comes a time when you start adding up all the pluses and minuses of your life. In my case I’d like to add up all the great tennis games I played”(3). His purpose is to say a final goodbye to his audience while keeping his humoristic and meaningful style. Buchwald is establishing a relationship with the people who have shaped his life, people going through the same ideals, and those who are interested in his writing, “I would just like to say what a great pleasure it has been knowing all of you and being a part of your lives. Each of you has, in your own way, contributed to my life”(7).

Leonard Pitts Jr., in his article “Police Protected Their Own; Now an Innocent Women is Dead” (2018), expresses the idea of absolute power taking control. Pitts reveals a situation with former police officers, Katie Sasser and Todd Simpson, regarding the shooting of Caroline Small, “that’s because Small was white. As such, she does not fit comfortably into our national debate on police brutality…Sasser got away with murder because of that corrupted power” (28). Pitts’ purpose is to inform, that unchecked power should not include racial loyalties. He establishes a connection with people who have a position of power or is surrounded by it .

Leonard Pitts Jr., in his column “High School Nannies Shut Off Her Mic, But They Couldn’t Shut Her Down” (2018), implies that putting a limits on power, can overall magnify it. Pitts explains a situation with Lulabel Seitz, mentioning she was sexually assaulted, the school faculty unplugged her microphone and refused to let her continue. She later posted a video on Youtube and received astounding feedback, “Lulabel’s video has been viewed 335,379 times…it should be clear that the era of women suffering in silence and humiliation is over” (21). Pitts’ purpose it to make everyone’s voices be heard, no matter the situation or gender. He creates a relationship with women who go through this challenge of not being heard, and finally states,” the lesson at the moment is that things have changed. And women no longer need permission”(40).

Leonard Pitts Jr., in his article “Overwhelmed By The Thought of 8,124 Gun Deaths? Consider Only One. Then You’ll Get It” (2018) discusses the issue on gun violence and why it needs to be addressed. Pitts refers to Pati Navalta son’s death, expressing the hardship of being alive without him,”’you never understand the love that you’re capable of until you give birth to your child. And you never understand the pain that you’re until you lose a child’”(31). Pitts’ purpose to put forth the idea that without feeling the pain of just one person out of the thousands of senseless deaths, we cannot truly make it meaningful nor impactful to take action. He makes a connection with the audience by invoking the idea of losing someone in your life and compares it to the large amount of deaths total.

Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen, in her article “Reading Has a Strong Future” (2010), stresses on the topic on how people believe books are lost art due to technology. Quindlen reviews both of the sides to the situation, books and technology, and then states “perhaps those of us who merely want to hunker down and be transported should look past both sides to concern ourselves with function instead of form”(30). Quindlen’s purpose is to make people understand that it doesn’t matter what form a book is in, it holds the same information, and it shouldn’t be just based on intellectual pleasure but rather spiritual and emotional. Quindlen forms a relationship with all book readers, old and new, and others who are well aware of this technology wave “Anton Chekhov, meet Steve Jobs”(19).

Anna Quindlen, in her column “Why Stuff Is Not Salvation” (2008), expands on American consumption and how scary it really is. Quindlen explains many bad conditions where Americans are buying too little or too much, and questions consistently, “why do we buy all this stuff?”(40). She later considers a family in Pennsylvania, at which the mother explains, “having less means her family appreciates possessions more”(59). Quindlen’s purpose is to have people question the things they buy, and realize that the little things we have are the ones with most meaning, and that’s all we really need. She relates to many people who possess many items as well as the people who don’t.

Anna Quindlen, in her article “Why Do We Pretend Parenting Is Easy?” (2009), claims that good parenting is very effective when raising a child, and that many parents are forced to make it look easy. Quindlen examines two studies with parents and their kids and found that most parents believe that “parents who don’t feel happy or competent are made to feel like freaks-and to just keep quiet about the fact” (34). Disappointed with this idea of parents acting “uniformly joyful”, Quindlen’s purpose is to inspire parents to be more truthful about the overwhelming parenting job, and become more accepting to discover ways to support other people who are trying to become parents themselves. Quindlen creates a connection with people who are familiar with parenthood and the ones who are considering it.

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