Community Viewpoint: Give us Boffo and Shapiro

I was pleased to see the editorial note in response to Mr. Saylor’s Feb 2 letter about the need for more conservative columnists in the Miner. We can tolerate an occasional whining column by know-it-all pundits like “Simple Simon,” who are still trying to get over Donald Trump’s unexpected, successful bid for the presidency. Such writing kind of reminds most of us of the Mohave County minority who voted against Trump (25 percent).

But the inclusion of columnist Ben Shapiro’s name in the list of conservative columnists was a pleasant surprise, considering that his column has probably not appeared in this newspaper more than a dozen times, ever. (A call to the library reveals that Mr. Shapiro was first hired as a conservative columnist in Los Angeles in 2000-2001.)

I first discovered his column in hard copy in another Mohave County newspaper at the public library, about five years ago. Otherwise, I would not have known that the man existed. Certainly not from appearing in the Miner prior to that time!

I was immediately impressed, wondering, “Why doesn’t the Miner publish this column?” It was as brilliant as it was humorous. Such writing enables one to grasp the entire picture of what is going on out there, so much more easily than do so-called humorists like Will Durant. He might be sufficiently competent to write his own obituary, if one could believe it.

But Ben Shapiro was great. I am so glad that the Miner now sees fit to include him in a list of regular Miner contributors. May we continue to see more and more of his regular columns!

Another jewel in the world of humor (a cartoon strip), is the “Mr. Boffo” cartoon character that used to provide a substantial belly laugh nearly every day of the week, back in Los Angeles in the 1990s. But thanks to the Miner’s endless resistance to publishing this strip in the newspaper, I have missed out on 18 years’ worth of chuckles.

Let’s see. That would amount to about 60,000 missed opportunities to have a good laugh or at least a smile, over the last couple of decades. During this time, the Miner went through at least four different senior editors, all of whom must have been excessively serious – resisting my ongoing requests to at least try running the Mr. Boffo cartoon strip when a cartoonist retires.

Opportunities lost, repeatedly. I sincerely hope that the Miner will finally try out the strip before the cartoonist dies, or I do.

But in the meantime, a hearty thank you to the Miner for at least looking at Ben Shapiro the columnist from time to time. His refreshing viewpoints on politics make the entire subject a little more bearable.