I love asking questions — to myself and to others. I think that’s a great way to learn. Also, asking the big questions is considered good writing, especially in journalism.
What are “the big questions”?
I just googled “journalistic writing style answering the questions what where when how1.” Why did I do that? To check my facts and my memory … to see if I’m being a good-enough reporter, so far, in this blog post.
What did I find?
News writing attempts to answer all the basic questions about any particular event—who, what, when, where and why (the Five Ws) and also often how—at the opening of the article.
How is my credibility right now, regarding those questions? Pretty darn good, I would say.
Why does my post title include only one of those journalistic questions?
I’ll answer that with another question: Do you really want to read a blog post that long, on a weekend, people?
Why did I choose Why questions, in particular, today?
As usual, I have more than one reason, but here’s the main one:
When I was a little kid, I loved watching comedians on TV with my dad. I always noted the people who made him laugh, because my father was so friggin’ funny, himself.
One of the people who made us both laugh was Professor Irwin Corey.
Who was Professor Irwin Corey?
Let’s see how Google answers that question.
Oh my goodness! I was afraid to look, because … I figured the Professor was long gone. He’s not! Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:
Corey in a 1963 television appearance
|Born||July 29, 1914
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Wit/Word play, improvisational and character comedy, satire|
|Influenced||Lenny Bruce, Tom Smothers|
|Spouse||Fran Corey (1941–2011); 1 son|
Here are more excerpts from that Wikipedia entry:
“Professor” Irwin Corey (born July 29, 1914) is an American comic, film actor and activist, often billed as “The World’s Foremost Authority”. He introduced his unscripted, improvisational style of stand-up comedy at the well-known San Francisco club, the hungry i.
Lenny Bruce once described Corey as “one of the most brilliant comedians of all time”.
Why did I include excerpts from that Wikipedia article, here? Because I know many of my readers won’t click on links. Why did I include those particular excerpts? Because those are the ones that are making me happiest, right now.
When I was a little kid, I didn’t know most of those things about Professor Irwin Corey. Heck, I didn’t know most of those things about him, until just now.
Here’s a question I haven’t answered yet:
Why did I want to include Professor Irwin Corey in today’s blog post?
Because I have this distinct memory of something he did, on a TV talk show, in the 1960’s, which (1) made me laugh and (2) amazed me. The host (most likely Mike Douglas) asked “The World’s Foremost Authority” a question, like this:
Professor Corey, why do you wear clothes like those?
And Professor Corey answered (as best I can remember):
That is actually a two-part question. The first part of that question is … Why? Human beings have been trying to answer that question for millennia. The most learned and famous philosophers, throughout history, have been struggling to answer the question of “Why?” Why indeed?
The second part of that question is “Do I wear clothes like those?” The answer is “YES!”
I would now like to pay homage to Professor Irwin Corey, as I end this post with some recent photos.
Why did I take each of the pictures I’m about to show you?
That’s a two-part question, my dear readers.
Why? I’m not sure I could ever completely — or even adequately — explain why I took these photos. Who could ever completely explain any example of human behavior? I could articulate my thoughts at the time I snapped the photos, I suppose, but probably some of my reasons were subconscious, and not available to me. And who’s to say whether my personal reasons and explanations would be that interesting, to somebody else?2
Did I take each of the pictures I’m about to show you?
Thanks to my father, to Professor Irwin Corey, to Wikipedia, to foremost authorities everywhere, to those asking “Why?” whenever they can, to everything that contributed to the words and images in this post, and to you — of course! — for reading today.
1 Why did I include all those words in my Google search? Why not? It worked, didn’t it?
2 Feel free to answer, yourself, any question of Why did Ann take that photo?