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Everyone has to believe something ...

By R. Michael Johnson  
  The comedians of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour - Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy - used to end their shows with a segment they liked to call "I believe."
  During the routine, each would come up with some witty pun about what they believe and the audience would laugh hysterically.
  Well, not to throw stones, but I wrote the "What
  I Believe" column nearly 20 years ago and have
updated it several times as the times changed.
  Only problem is - they make more on one show than I do in a year. Anyway, as a way of introducing myself to those of you who are new; or as a way of re-introducing myself to old friends, here we go again.
  What I believe:
   •I believe that a community's newspaper should share the good and the bad, the glad and the sad.
   • I believe this should be done in a fair and accurate manner - without outside influence.
   • I believe a hometown newspaper should actually care about its community.
   • I believe Elvis is really, really, really dead. And, some days I don't feel so good, myself.
   • I believe that George W. Bush is actually a pretty smart guy (he got through an Ivy League law school). He just didn't present himself well and took some bad advice from the wrong people. Remember the genius kid in high school who was the world's biggest geek? Well, he's making millions of dollars now.
   • I believe satellite television is overrated - especially since I have received no less than nine calls trying to get me to buy a dish in the last six days, alone.
   • I believe Henny Youngman was and still is hysterically funny.
   • I believe your grandmother was right. Don't care what about. Trust me, she was right.
   • I believe no one can cook as well as your mother. It doesn't matter if you marry a professional chef - she can't make cornbread, pot roast or pancakes as well as your mom. (Just don't tell your wife that little fact. I did once - didn't end well.)
   • I believe most marriages would not end in divorce if it weren't so easy to break your vows - and if there were a two-drink limit on anyone entering a bar wearing a wedding band.
   • I believe it is absolutely inappropriate to wear blue jeans to church, school or any social function where they are using linen napkins and real silverware. Don't even get me started on shorts and backward-facing baseball caps and face piercings.
   • I believe Richard Nixon was a great president and could have been one of the best of the modern era - had he not self-destructed.
  • I believe the salary levels of professional athletes and emergency services workers should be reversed. 
   • I believe the three smells that prove there is a God are:
      1. oven-fresh cornbread;
      2. a newly-bathed baby; and
      3. a light spring rain on pavement.
   • I believe there could very well be life on other planets. It's just that I find it hard to comprehend why they are continually visiting places like Pine Knot, Ky. (Total population, nine; total teeth 24. I am not joking.).
   • I still believe John Wayne, George S. Patton and Ronald Reagan helped make America great in the 20th Century.
   • I believe there is no problem in the world that talking to a dog can't remedy.
   • I believe cats are vastly overrated, self-centered and arrogant..
   • I believe the best value for your entertainment and advertising dollar is still a newspaper.
   • I believe the ozone is not really going away. It's a conspiracy by the spray-tan people.
   • I believe all things digital are the first sign of the apocalypse. The second sign is when the last surviving cast member of the television classic Bonanza finally passes away.
   • I believe the end of the American society won't come at the hands of a terrorist. It will come as a hostile takeover by a foreign investment firm.
   • I believe that if one has the time, the only way to travel is by train.
   • Speaking of traveling, I believe it's ludicrous that you are not allowed to take nail clippers on an airplane, but when they served me breakfast on a recent flight, the first thing they handed me was a real, metal, sharp six-inch knife. (I got bumped to first class, so I got real silverware.)
   • I believe that America's moral decline began when men quit wearing dress hats and women stopped wearing hats and gloves to church.
   • I believe journalism awards are completely overrated and an exercise in self-indulgence and arrogance. I would much rather have the communities I serve respect what I do than to have a bunch of my fellow journalists tell me "atta-boy."
   • I believe Joshua Laurence Chamberlain was one of three of the true heroes of the Civil War. Look it up if you don't believe me.
   • I believe jail should be an unpleasant experience. At least no cable television.
   • I believe my mother should be sainted - I know what I was like growing up.

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Everyone has to
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