By Jack Engelhard
This may come as a shock to readers who think I’m exceedingly smart or stupid, but listen, I do it my way, all on my own.
I have no staff to hand me material. Like other civilians, I walk through life entirely spontaneous. I even write books all by myself – wrote them all without help.
I take full responsibility for this column and for the thousands I’ve written throughout the years.
But David Letterman makes $35 million a year reading off cue cards?
This man Letterman, as I understand it, now blames his writers for the Palin jokes that went over like a lead balloon.
Whom can I blame when I go wrong?
When I speak in public (like going out to buy a paper or get gas) I have no cue cards or teleprompter to serve up repartee.
I know it works for comedians and Community Organizers. We even have proof that a good teleprompter CAN fool all the people all the time.
But oratory and gags don’t work for me when done by committee.
Is it even legit?
I am not sure why we laugh at jokes that are delivered by a man who is only aping material that has been community organized.
Late news has it that, out of Kenya, the brother of our Community Organizer in Chief is working on a “book,” for which he will be paid $6 million. This will surely be a family saga of a child born to us who became President of the World. For certain (or it’s just my guess) a ghost writer has already been hired to do the “writing.”
As Truman Capote said of a competing novelist (Jack Kerouac), “That’s not writing. That’s typing.”
Back in school they called it cribbing.
How many writers does it take to screw in one joke? I ask because I watched one of those award shows where Jon Stewart got up to receive a citation for his humor, and no doubt he is a funny man, but marching up there with him, onto the stage, to share the acclaim, were more than a dozen of his gagsters.
I was surprised – and jealous. Where are MY writers? I would love to start a novel, or a column, and then turn to my staff and say, “Okay, you finish up.”
Actually I wouldn’t like that because then it wouldn’t be mine. It wouldn’t be true and it wouldn’t be original.
Most of us do our writing in captivity. Mark Twain was brilliant and hilarious as a writer and public speaker and far as I know he had no entourage.
When did original thinking die in America? The words for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address came from his own mind, heart and pen.
Lincoln also relied on himself for oratory equally as great, his Second Inaugural Address, which did borrow from one source – the Bible.
King David, then, wrote all that sublime poetry – the Psalms – in private. No committee for him, unless you mean God.
But like the man said – “God is dead.”
Or as I say, God is alive but we’re dead.
Novelist Jack Engelhard’s latest work is the newsroom thriller “The Bathsheba Deadline,” in paperback at Amazon. He can be reached at www.jackengelhard.com