"Suck On This"

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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.

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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. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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