Colum­nist no ‘Play­toe,’ but irked by lack of re­spect

The Covington News - - OPINION - DICK YARBROUGH COLUM­NIST You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bell­south.net; at P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ge­or­gia 31139; on­line at dick­yarbrough.com or on Face­book at www.face­book.com/dick­yarb

For­tune Mag­a­zine has an­nounced its list of the World’s Great­est Lead­ers for 2015 and would you be­lieve that I got snubbed again this year?

This makes two years in a row I have been over­looked which, iron­i­cally, co­in­cides with the num­ber of years the mag­a­zine has be­ing iden­ti­fy­ing — or in my case, fail­ing to iden­tify — those of us who make the world go round.

Ad­mit­tedly, this is go­ing to sound like sour grapes but since when has LeBron James be­come a great world leader? The guy bounces a ball up-and-down on the floor and then throws it through a hoop while wear­ing short pants. Like that is go­ing to re­solve the is­sue of Pales­tinian in­de­pen­dence?

Also on the list of World’s Great­est Lead­ers is pop star Tay­lor Swift, who fin­ished a cou­ple of slots be­hind the Pope he must have been re­lieved — but ahead of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Jus­tice John Roberts and Mary Barra, CEO of Gen­eral Mo­tors. The mag­a­zine cred­its her with hav­ing “crossed swords with Spo­tify.” That is how you be­come a great world leader? Cross­ing swords with Spo­tify? Take my breath away.

I would have been more than will­ing to cross swords with Spo­tify if some­body would have sug­gested it (and told me what Spo­tify is). That would have been a heck­uva lot eas­ier than cross­ing swords with Bi­ble Thumpers who don’t think women are qual­i­fied to be preach­ers, let alone Spo­tify sword-crossers and loud- talk­ing, know-it-all Yan­kees who look down their noses at those of us who are South­ern by the grace of God but wouldn’t move back North on a bet be­cause there are too many loud talk­ing, know-it-all Yan­kees living there.

No doubt some will be de­lighted to see me get my come­up­pance. That in­cludes one mem­ber of my loyal op­po­si­tion who took me to task last week for some­thing — I’m not quite sure what — but then con­fessed that he was no “Ein­s­tine.” That’s okay. I’m no Play­toe my­self.

The guy who should be more than a bit miffed for be­ing omit­ted from the For­tune list is the Pres­i­dent of the United States. Think about it for a mo­ment. Barak Obama, the leader of the most pow­er­ful na­tion on earth can’t scratch a list of the Top 50 great­est lead­ers in the world, which in­cludes the may­ors of Surabaya, In­done­sia and Detroit City. Not to men­tion Jimmy Fal­lon, the host of “The Tonight Show” and the guy that owns Star­bucks.

The chan­cel­lor of Ger­many is con­sid­ered one of the World’s Great­est Lead­ers as are the prime min­is­ter of In­dia and the pres­i­dent of China — but not the Pres­i­dent of the United States? What is go­ing on here? You could make great-grand­son Cameron Charles Yarbrough com­man­der-in-chief and he could crack the Top Ten with­out miss­ing a day of kinder­garten or putting away his Legos.

Lib­eral you-know-whats are go­ing to rush to Mr. Obama’s de­fense and point out that this is all Ge­orge W. Bush’s fault and that Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin isn’t on the list, ei- ther. I think Mr. Putin was a shoo-in un­til he got his pic­ture in the pa­per astride a horse with­out a shirt on — him, not the horse. Great World Lead­ers just don’t ride around half-naked on a horse. They also don’t go play golf at some swanky golf re­sort in Florida while some shirt­less guy is busy in­vad­ing the Ukraine, but that’s a story for an­other day.

I don’t know what Mr. Obama’s ex­cuse is, but I can ra­tio­nal­ize my be­ing left off For­tune’s list of great­est lead­ers in the world. It seems that no other jour­nal­ist made the list, in­clud­ing the snoots at the New York Times or Les Ness­man, the revered news direc­tor at WKRP in Cincin­nati. For­tune Mag­a­zine doesn’t want the com­pe­ti­tion.

Yes, it hurts not be­ing able to tell peo­ple that in ad­di­tion to hav­ing been grad­u­ated from the pres­ti­gious Jere Wells Gram­mar School in East Point that I am also in the pan­theon of great lead­ers. But I re­main un­daunted and will try again next year. In the mean­time, I will draw my in­spi­ra­tion from Tay­lor Swift, the noted Spo­tify sword-crosser who said, “When I fig­ured out how to work my grill, it was quite a mo­ment. I dis­cov­ered that sum­mer is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence when you know how to grill.”

Whoa. That’s heavy stuff. You can see why she is con­sid­ered one of the great­est lead­ers in the world. Now, if some­one would only send Mr. Obama a hibachi.

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