Jonah Goldberg isn't always one of them, but in this column about John Kerry's wildly fluctuating positions, he writes something I think is quite profound:
"Now, it's in the nature of all politicians to want to be liked by as many people as possible. What distinguishes a statesman from the common run, however, is what he is willing to be disliked for."
Everybody write that down.
James Lileks is another one, although I frequently just skim his columns and blog, because the subject matter doesn't interest me (how many times can we read about him playing dolls with Gnat, anyway?), his writing is simply outstanding.
Here's an excerpt of his column of Friday, September 10, about the CBS mis-story on President Bush's National Guard service, and the resulting chaos:
"Blogs haven’t toppled old media. The foundations of Old Media were rotten already. The new media came along at the right time. Put it this way: you’ve see films of old buildings detonated by precision demolitionists. First you see the puffs of smoke – then the building just hangs there for a second, even though every column that held it up has been severed. We’ve been living in that second for years, waiting for the next frame. Well, here it is. Roll tape. Down she goes. And when the dust settles we will be right back where we were 100 years ago, with dozens of fiercely competitive media outlets throwing elbows to earn your pennies."
That's just really good writing. Ah, despair, my old companion.
But, you know, everybody talks about these guys. They're famous, in certain circles, anyway. I have one example of really outstanding and original writing (as far as I know, anyway) from a not-quite-so-famous writer. Our buddy Al found a real gem in a long post, written by the tastefully named Owen, of Boots & Sabers. Here's the link to the post. Here's the part Al really liked:
No one has a right to live in constant order, so the state of disorder does not actually violate anyone's rights.