Relearning to Ride the Bicycle

For a number of years, I wrote a nationally syndicated column for a now defunct publisher. The column was a great place for me to learn the craft of public commentary. As my readership grew, I enjoyed a kind of ultra-lowercase local celebrity – the kind where people would stop my mother in the grocery store and mention something I had written. 

These new topics always seemed to fall into one of three camps: dimwits in local government; abstract musing about arcane social theories; and folky home-spun reminiscences about my formative years. Public reaction was less divided. I wanted to blow thought clouds out of Bertrand Russell’s straight stemmed pipe. The reading public strongly preferred that I channel Erma Bombeck.

So, there I was, the Arkansas Delta’s soi disant liberal incarnation of William F. Buckley, forced to confront a public more interested in my paternal grandmother’s predictably burned and greasy biscuits. I’m certain public sentiment tilts in the right direction. Still, old habits… as they say.

When the publisher who hosted my column was gobbled up by a bigger media company, the new ownership demanded a very lopsided contract. Even with the prospect of much broader distribution, I just couldn’t countenance the new yoke. The column died.

Over the next couple of years, I repeatedly saw something in the news and thought ‘Man, I wish I could write about that… I miss the old column.’ I also received a lot of encouragement from friends. Eventually, the wheelbarrow of potential topics became too heavy to push around. Thus, Bicycle-Fish was born. 

As with all new children, I can’t yet say what it will become. Whatever its mature shape, I hope you will find it engaging and entertaining. I don’t expect that everyone will agree with my perspective. In fact, I am counting on regular disagreement. I think I’ve learned to be a more effective writer because people disliked some opinion or conclusion. 

Lastly, I want to thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope you will find things that you like. Short of that, if you find something you dislike, I hope you’ll hate it enough to keep coming back to see if I ever change my mind to the plainly obvious reasonable position. I probably won’t, but you should still check anyway. Thanks for reading.