Monday, May 22, 2006

One on One

In the fall of 2000 Robert Holland and I were asked by online magazine to generate opinionated copy on a weekly basis for a series to be called One on One. We both accepted the gig and thus an adventure began. At times, with some issues, we did a pretty good job of presenting the “left” and “right” of the matter. Other times, it was rather difficult to frame the week’s selected topic -- we didn’t always get to pick our topics, some were assigned -- in such a traditional left/right context.
While the ride lasted it was a genuine pleasure working with Bob Holland, a Senior Fellow at the Lexington Institute and formerly the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch OpEd Page. Holland is a St. Louis Cardinals fan of the first order. I pull for the Atlanta Braves. We actually razzed one another over that difference between us much more than we ever did politics. Our method was to never look at one another's copy in advance, but we were permitted rebuttals. Sometimes they were more fun to write.

Now, looking back over on that ambitious series, the columns take on a new role -- a time-capsule of the months leading up to 9/11’s sucker punch of terror. Here’s a sampling of six of the year's-worth of Internet face-offs presented under the banner of One on One:

Topic: Dr. Laura
Rea: The Queen Of Claptrap
Holland: The Campaign To Silence Dr. Laura

Topic: Shad Planking
Rea: Peanut Shells, Fish Bones And Politicos
Holland: Pretty Vacant

Topic: Downtown Baseball in Richmond
Rea: Field Of Schemes
Holland: The Possible Dream

Topic: Republican Convention
Rea: Clich├ęs And Confetti
Holland: On Your Marks, Get Set -- Spend!

Topic: Chandra Levy Disappearance
Rea: Demon Du Jour
Holland: It's Not Just Mystery and Sex -- It's Truth

Topic: War on Terror
Rea: How Much Freedom Must We Lose?
Holland: Now, Scales Tip Toward Security

The columns above marked the end of the series on Holland still writes frequently for OpEd pages nationwide, usually on educational topics.

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