This is really kind of amazing. Gordon Keith and Steve Blow both essentially wrote the same column this week. Comparing the two men’s efforts should deeply embarrass the people who run the Dallas Morning News.
Gordon is a guy who never graduated from college and lucked into a job doing sports-related impressions of people on the radio. He writes a sex-obsessed humor column in Quick, a free weekly aimed at young people whose chief concern is how to get drunk on the cheap. Blow is a trained journalist, an experienced newspaperman who writes a high-profile Metro column for the paper of record in one of the largest metro areas in the country. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m as obsessed with sex as any guy, and getting an affordable buzz is a worthy pursuit. But the two men, Gordon and Blow, occupy different stations in the world of letters. One wouldn’t think Gordon would have a sporting chance if the literary efforts of the two men were compared. But:
Read Blow’s column. Then read Gordon’s. They both make the same point, that everyone wants to be a victim. But which column employs the smarter metaphors, cracks the better jokes, turns the better phrase, demonstrates the stronger grasp of history (like, say, making a passing reference to Constantine’s conversion to Christianity), makes its point more memorably? In short, which column is better written?
To stay relevant and to get subscribers to pay for its product, the Morning News has adopted the strategy of spending the kind of money that takes to do what newspapers do best: publish hard-hitting investigative journalism. I can think of one move they could make to save some money. They could give Blow’s job to this guy.