Once a contrarian …

I have always been a contrarian, ever since my childhood. I just didn’t realize it.

My personal intellectual hero is the most famous contrarian of all time: Samuel Johnson.

I have always been a contrarian.  I have always tended to think everything through for myself and to form my own opinions.

When I was growing up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, there would be a sign on the front of our church in the summer reading: closed for July and August. This didn’t seem right to me. Most of my friends were Catholic. They went to mass every week. The Catholic churches never closed.

I thought: if religion is so important in the life of mankind, how can it be UNimportant in July and August as opposed to November or December?





The following are the five WORST statements of mine — things I have opined from my young adulthood to later years — so adjudged by members of my nuclear family.

that I preferred to read whatever authors I wanted to and didn’t like reading assigned books in college (age 21)

that all prisoners should be released (in my early 20’s)

that I didn’t like Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula

that I didn’t think much of The New Yorker

that I think the New York Times editorials are boring and written in committee-speak



— Roger W. Smith

   September 2017






About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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