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Bob Greene: Commentaries

"They must know what they're doing, right?"

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What to watch on Oscar nightupdated Sun Mar 02 2014 09:21:32

If you love movies there is a different, and perhaps pleasingly preferable, way to spend Sunday evening other than watching the Academy Awards presentation.

Keep cell phone calls off planesupdated Sun Feb 16 2014 05:25:57

The people have spoken.

The guy who brought The Beatles to Americaupdated Sun Feb 09 2014 09:16:38

From time to time, in the years just after his television show was taken away from him, you might see him in the lobby of a Las Vegas hotel or casino.

How your boss can keep you on a leashupdated Sun Feb 02 2014 08:50:00

If you're a person who hates it when your supervisor looks over your shoulder at work, you may want to stop reading this column right now.

Why Twitter should watch its backupdated Sun Jan 26 2014 08:31:11

Memo to the hotshots running Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and all the other of-the-moment enterprises that are lighting up the headier reaches of the new economy:

The amazing story we ignoreupdated Sun Jan 19 2014 11:11:23

No Googling allowed:

Two voices the Beatles enviedupdated Sun Jan 12 2014 08:18:01

"He's so good," Phil Everly said.

The other champions on the BCS fieldupdated Sun Jan 05 2014 09:43:54

It's the biggest stage in the world of college football.

Root for the Postal Service to surviveupdated Sun Dec 29 2013 09:08:07

You wonder what a visitor from outer space -- or a visitor from the future -- would make of it.

The peculiar history of the Pledge of Allegianceupdated Sun Dec 22 2013 09:08:30

Seventy one years ago -- December 22, 1942 -- Congress got the United States out of what had turned into an unexpectedly embarrassing situation.

At holidays, take a tip from a gift to Sinatraupdated Sun Dec 08 2013 08:29:09

Attention, holiday shoppers: Put away your wallets and credit cards.

Why you don't throw trash out the windowupdated Sun Dec 01 2013 10:06:56

You've probably seen it hundreds of times over this long holiday weekend:

How about health care for Thanksgiving?updated Sun Nov 24 2013 09:39:38

There is a phrase that has long been used in certain big-city political circles.

A disabled man, a heinous crimeupdated Sun Nov 17 2013 09:20:24

So that I could best understand the depth of his revulsion for the crime, the police investigator suggested that I pay a visit to the elevator where it allegedly took place.

Congress, give Doolittle Raiders their medalupdated Sun Nov 03 2013 08:38:07

"I think, when the moment finally comes, I'll probably have mixed feelings about it," Dick Cole said. "It will be like coming to the last page of a book you don't want to end. The book has been a good one, but you're sad that it's over."

The most infamous World Seriesupdated Sun Oct 27 2013 09:31:03

Throwing the World Series.

Can memories be bought?updated Sun Oct 20 2013 08:43:25

Can your credit card buy you a second-hand memory?

Baseball's lesson for Washingtonupdated Sun Oct 13 2013 09:53:30

Official Washington, still stuck in the government shutdown of its own making, seems exceedingly short on wisdom these days. But maybe it is looking in the wrong places for answers.

Taxpayers, you deserve your money backupdated Wed Oct 02 2013 07:26:49

So, when can we expect our refund checks?

Why we still love Archie updated Sun Sep 29 2013 09:15:19

If a fellow is going to spend 55 years working in the same place, he would be wise to count his blessings that the place is Riverdale.

The woman who wrote Liberty Valanceupdated Sun Sep 22 2013 08:50:36

No one ever handed her anything.

Van Gogh and the art of living foreverupdated Sun Sep 15 2013 07:42:44

If you're good enough at what you do, it is possible to live forever.

Drop the smartphone, don't mess with the jukeboxupdated Sun Sep 08 2013 08:00:57

Chuck Berry was nowhere in the tavern, either in person or on record. But inside my head I was hearing his voice:

Products fade away, not American workersupdated Sun Sep 01 2013 10:28:28

"De Soto, Holder of Twenty-nine World Records, builds a new aero-dynamic car at popular prices ... This year De Soto does the unexpected again ... introduces not one new car ... but two! ... We can't describe the new Airflow model. You will have to see it yourself to know how truly beautiful it is."

Are ads ruining baseball on the radio?updated Sun Aug 25 2013 09:37:27

Baseball. The radio. Summer.

Could James Dean save J. C. Penney?updated Sun Aug 18 2013 10:09:26

The answer to J. C. Penney's endless woes is right in front of its corporate eyes.

Waffles and FedEx: An American taleupdated Sun Aug 11 2013 08:27:57

Occasionally, at odd hours, you may find that you have a Waffle House all to yourself.

The man who turned rejection into a careerupdated Sun Aug 04 2013 09:42:42

Rejection -- even repeated rejection -- doesn't have to mean defeat.

Goodbye, mail carrier; hello, cluster mailboxesupdated Sun Jul 28 2013 09:15:10

Cluster boxes.

A better story than J.K. Rowling'supdated Sun Jul 21 2013 09:48:32

The J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith tale is a great and irresistible publishing story -- but it's only the second-best I've ever heard.

They wouldn't charge for carry-on luggage -- would they?updated Sun Jul 14 2013 10:53:37

Businesses exist to make a profit.

Zimmerman-like drama may be as close as local courthouseupdated Sun Jul 07 2013 09:17:38

It goes on every day, in every county in the United States.

Living like a sultan at seaupdated Sun Jun 30 2013 11:40:28

The cruise-line industry is a rough business.

Would you want to live to 150?updated Sun Jun 23 2013 09:18:27

How many years would you like to live?

The way of the Lone Rangerupdated Sun Jun 16 2013 09:02:43

"The Lone Ranger" is expected to be one of the biggest movies of the summer; it opens over the long Fourth of July weekend, and the promotional buildup is in high gear.

When the audience paddles up to the playupdated Sun Jun 02 2013 08:55:19

Now, this just may be the best entertainment news of the summer.

In Ohio, signs of soldiers' sacrificeupdated Sun May 26 2013 09:07:03

The names on the formal, state-government-erected memorial signs by the sides of Ohio highways are not famous to the outside world.

When May 19 became the day of darknessupdated Sun May 19 2013 09:45:08

The date, in that long-gone American spring, was the same as today's: May 19.

A Mother's Day card for Miss Twyfordupdated Sun May 12 2013 08:33:22

The letter in the U.S. mail came as a surprise.

Sioux City SUX, and that's OK updated Sun May 05 2013 08:57:19

"We don't really care what the federal government wants to call us," Aran Rush was saying the other afternoon. "We know that we're a good place."

Is Big Brother coming to your job?updated Sun Apr 28 2013 08:39:47

How much do you hate it when some meddling boss is leaning way-too-close over your shoulder, micro-checking and second-guessing every bit of work you do?

Billy Graham's other voiceupdated Sun Apr 21 2013 09:48:39

Devoted fans.

A final toast for the Doolittle Raidersupdated Sun Apr 14 2013 09:45:14

It's the cup of brandy that no one wants to drink.

Ebert's sheer love of lifeupdated Thu Apr 04 2013 19:44:44

We were in touch two weeks ago; Roger Ebert was my friend for more than 40 years, and toward the end of March he took it upon himself to send out one of my CNN columns to his more than 800,000 Twitter followers, and I thanked him for his graciousness and generosity, which were constant.

Winky Dink and ... Bill Gates?updated Sun Mar 31 2013 08:16:50

If you're standing in the rain at the bus stop tomorrow morning, trying to get to work, and if, in the downpour, you should notice that waiting patiently for the bus with you is Bill Gates. . . .

Why cigarettes are here to stayupdated Sun Mar 24 2013 07:47:12

Whether you're a three-pack-a-day smoker who doesn't like being lectured to about the health risks, or you're a person who doesn't touch cigarettes and wouldn't smoke one if you were offered a Ferrari in exchange, picture this:

In digital age, recall beauty of paperupdated Sun Mar 17 2013 08:44:56

While the rest of the world last week was fixating on the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, waiting to see whether the smoke would be black or white, it wasn't the smoke that intrigued me.

The biggest moment in the worldupdated Wed Mar 13 2013 18:21:38

You could see it in his eyes.

No one will ever name a sports team this wayupdated Sun Mar 10 2013 08:26:41

In American professional sports, you can name a team almost anything.

An ineffectual Washington blew itupdated Sun Mar 03 2013 09:05:28

What should most worry the leaders of the federal government -- the president, the top officials in Congress, Democrats, Republicans, everyone who failed to find a way to avoid the forced budget cuts?

What if there were no minimum wage?updated Sun Feb 24 2013 09:00:37

Here's a question for you:

America's 'Slave Narratives' should shock usupdated Sun Feb 17 2013 08:37:50

"I was owned by Johnson Bell and born in New Orleans, in Louisiana."

In 2013, democracy talks back about State of the Unionupdated Tue Feb 12 2013 23:50:54

"To report the state of the union."

What's better than a Grammy? Immortalityupdated Sun Feb 10 2013 08:53:41

Memo to Carly Rae Jepsen, Frank Ocean, Hunter Hayes, Mumford & Sons, Miguel, the Alabama Shakes and all the other young singers and bands who are nominated for Sunday night's Grammy Awards:

Super Bowl ad revives iconic American voiceupdated Mon Feb 04 2013 17:05:17

Mr. Harvey would be so proud today.

Real heroes: four died so others might liveupdated Sun Feb 03 2013 11:05:09

By the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday night, one or more professional football players will be hailed for their valor, for their guts, for their devotion to their teammates.

When sports stats ruin the funupdated Sun Jan 27 2013 08:32:07

As the buildup to next Sunday's Super Bowl intensifies, a simple question for your consideration:

Why 'Hail to the Chief' remains unsungupdated Sun Jan 20 2013 07:58:26

There will be a good deal of public singing these next few days, during the parties, celebrations and services surrounding the inauguration, and at the inaugural ceremonies themselves.

Where have you gone Nancy and Joe?updated Sun Jan 13 2013 09:57:05

"Hey, Joe!"

Cell phones on planes? For texting, not gabbingupdated Sun Jan 06 2013 10:10:59

Let's say that you're the Federal Aviation Administration.

In the new year, be a first responderupdated Sun Dec 30 2012 09:21:04

This is the week, every year, when you come across special displays in bookstores.

Has life in America gone insane?updated Sun Dec 16 2012 07:59:10

Taking attendance.

Kirk Douglas turns 96: Last of the screen idolsupdated Sun Dec 09 2012 09:19:19

At dinnertime the other evening I walked into a seafood restaurant in a small strip mall off U.S. 41 in southwestern Florida.

Philip Roth retires, undefeatedupdated Sun Nov 25 2012 09:51:23

If, say, Justin Bieber were to offhandedly announce that he will never record another song; if Kristen Stewart were to proclaim that she is finished acting forever; if LeBron James were to declare that he has played his last game of basketball. ...

Is Black Friday edging out Thanksgiving?updated Sun Nov 18 2012 08:39:17

The debate over whether the hand-to-hand-combat excesses of Black Friday represent a grotesque over-commercialization of the holiday season has lost its meaning.

What's the new national pastime?updated Sun Nov 11 2012 09:56:53

In a country as splintered as the United States has become, can there be any such thing as a national pastime?

What it's like to lose the electionupdated Sun Nov 04 2012 07:18:43

They're not just constant characters on a television screen, these candidates who every four years seek the presidency. They're not present only to give us something to talk about for months on end.

Want to be a national hero? End robocallsupdated Sun Oct 28 2012 09:25:33

How annoying and frustrating have calls from telemarketers, and robocalls pitching useless and sometimes fraudulent services, become?

McGovern, a strong man who overcame defeatupdated Sun Oct 21 2012 10:20:52

Pat Nixon had taken Mamie Eisenhower out to lunch. This was in the summer of 1973; the wife of one president and the widow of another talked quietly in the dining room of the United States Senate.

Let candidates debate one-on-oneupdated Sun Oct 14 2012 09:50:38

Over the years, it seems that just about every format imaginable has been used for debates between presidential candidates.

There's nothing virtual about cyber attacksupdated Sun Oct 07 2012 07:53:51

When a group halfway around the world, without setting foot on American soil, can claim responsibility for preventing a man in Wichita, Kansas, or a woman in Shreveport, Louisiana, from gaining online access to his or her own money in the local bank, it would seem to be a pretty big deal. Something to worry about.

When candidates said 'no' to debatesupdated Sun Sep 30 2012 09:47:52

Who can ever forget the electrifying series of presidential debates in which Lyndon B. Johnson, outlining his Great Society program, went head-to-head in 1964 with Republican nominee Barry Goldwater, who boldly stood his ground on rock-solid, small-government ideals?

An almost rock star still doing the thing he lovesupdated Sun Sep 16 2012 09:31:02

We just knew they were going to be huge stars, internationally famous, wealthy beyond imagining.

In Ohio, candidates are salesmen trying to close the dealupdated Sun Sep 09 2012 09:14:15

"Excuse me," the woman called. "Is the president still speaking?"

Mudslinging campaigns hurt the countryupdated Sun Sep 02 2012 10:12:46

There is a phrase that has long been used in discussing nuclear warfare:

The Oval Office doesn't lastupdated Sun Aug 26 2012 09:52:09

As rooms go, it's quite nice.

When flying was a thrillupdated Sun Aug 19 2012 09:21:44

Have you been flying much this summer?

James Bond on Her Majesty's Secret Serviceupdated Sun Aug 12 2012 09:26:50

During the Olympic Games in London, which will end with Sunday's closing ceremony, there have been many memorable moments:

Why candidates hate VP surprisesupdated Sun Aug 05 2012 08:52:22

Outside, there was an old black dog next to a tree. The dog kept barking.

Is 'Dear' dead?updated Sun Jul 29 2012 09:20:02

Dear reader:

What changed the Olympics foreverupdated Sun Jul 22 2012 09:39:49

For all the cheers, roars and ovations in all the Olympic stadiums and arenas over all the years, perhaps the most significant Olympic sound heard in the last quarter-century was a yawn.

When it's not 'only a movie'updated Sat Jul 21 2012 09:40:21

It is the implicit bargain every moviegoer makes.

Andy Griffith's crowning achievementupdated Sun Jul 15 2012 08:48:19

What must it be like to step to the plate for your first appearance as a major-league baseball player and knock a grand-slam home run into the far reaches of the seats in Yankee Stadium?

Heat wave lesson: We take comfort for grantedupdated Sun Jul 08 2012 09:13:27

The startling thing, in the long run, is not that the power went out and stayed out in so many parts of the United States during the week just ended.

Why do we pay politicians for no results?updated Sun Jul 01 2012 09:42:36

If the furnace in your basement stopped working, and you hired a company to repair it, what would you do if several of the workers came upstairs, told you they couldn't figure out how to get the furnace started, and then began pointing fingers at each other and saying:

On the queen's jubilee, thank Ike, tooupdated Sun Jun 24 2012 09:59:55

All eyes are on London this summer. The Olympic Games begin next month; earlier this month, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee provided glorious pictures and joyous sounds to the watching world.

Will 'showrooming' kill businesses?updated Sun Jun 17 2012 08:19:51

In a bookstore, I saw a woman taking photograph after photograph of newly released titles that were arranged on a shelf. She was using her phone to take the pictures.

Bobby Vee's bravest songupdated Sun Jun 10 2012 09:04:20

It is such a cruel disease, one that can sneak up on a person and catch him unawares.

Bumming a smoke from the queen: When the security bubble burstsupdated Sun Jun 03 2012 08:45:51

So there he was, sitting on the queen's bed, wearing a soiled T-shirt and jeans, holding a broken ashtray and bleeding from a cut on his hand:

The cost of peaceupdated Sat May 26 2012 23:28:29

Memorial Day weekend has, over the years, turned in large part into something it was not originally intended to be:

How'd it get that name?updated Sun May 20 2012 09:45:41

A very nice married couple from Canada struck up a conversation in a restaurant where we were having dinner. At one point the husband said that, earlier in his life, he had played with some buddies in a rock band.

A Kansas town tries to keep the train coming through updated Sun May 13 2012 09:56:26

For well over a century the world has come to call on Garden City, Kansas, every day of the year.

Camp David, the last safe place? updated Sun May 06 2012 09:03:51

When the White House, back in March, made the unexpected announcement that this month's G-8 summit, long planned to take place in Chicago, was being moved to Camp David, the reasons given were bland:

Are ads on NBA jerseys next?updated Sun Apr 29 2012 07:45:56

If you're watching the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs this weekend, take a good look at the players' jerseys.

When losing e-mail is like a snow dayupdated Sun Apr 22 2012 08:58:44

In a long line at an airport security checkpoint, the man in front of me wearily reached into his travel cases and began to unload his electronic gear into the gray plastic bin.

Presidential jinx for Big Ten graduatesupdated Sun Apr 15 2012 09:23:56

May we spend a few minutes discussing a major part of American life where there has been a shocking lack of diversity?

Why Dean Martin's still so coolupdated Sun Apr 08 2012 09:01:22

A few years ago a group of us were having dinner at a steakhouse, and among the people at the table were the terrific sports columnist Mike Downey and his wife, Gail Martin. The manager of the place came over to say hello; introductions were made.