Musings from outside the mainstream.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. I like Dear Abby; it’s plain and folksy. However, her columns are often short or don’t flesh out the issue enough. It’s one of the reasons why, when I write an advice column, I chose just one topic. And the online version will often be longer.
Carolyn Hax is an updated Dear Abby. A Harvard graduate, her columns include a bit more modern psychology. And, she tends to flesh out points a bit more than Dear Abby. Carolyn can be direct, but she also sometimes falls into over-analyzing or trying too hard to think of every contingency. Some of this is the limitation of the format, but stopping short of actually giving advice.
John Rosemond writes mostly on parenting issues and he sometimes ventures into social commentary, pointing to the 60s as when we fell off the common-sense wagon in regards to parenting. I am an unabashed fan. John is the author of many books (I’ve not read any of them), and approaches parenting from a Christian point of view. In my liberal bubble, this is often criticized. But so? He places the relationship of the parents above that of the child. To this, I wholeheartedly agree.
Dan Savage is indeed a bit savage, in that he’s pretty blunt. Though he’s gay, I identify this aspect of him as very much masculine, and appreciated, even if reading his column makes me queezy at times. Much of the content is, how shall we say… not family material. But it’s needed. What is also needed, is a mainstream masculine voice that is sensitive and direct.
Edward Wasserman‘s column isn’t an advice column. He writes about mass media and the ethics of journalism. These are not relationships between individuals that he comments on, rather relationships between institutions and the individual. The issues he writes about are important. More people should be paying attention to these issues, so I’m including him here.