"Suck On This"

More

Somehow, I missed this Thomas Friedman bit when it actually happened. It's rather amazing. I don't take from it anything much about Friedman--I'd go here for that. But for me personally, it's a lesson about making your living offering your opinion. It's a treacherous business, best balanced, I think, by long periods of listening to other people's opinion. 


One of the great things about the long arguments--books, long articles etc.--is the amount of sheer time you spend either listening, or alone. And often, even when you're alone you're listening. It's not a cure-all, and there are plenty of stupid books out there. But the presence of a mass and immediate public, I think, alters your ability to hear yourself. If we could shut off the din of the mob, we might realize how stupid we sometimes sound.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In