The Wednesday Tribune Perspective page has me wondering about the duties of an op-ed editor. Is the bigger part of the job lining up a rotating roster of regulars—columnists you can count on to tell us today what they told us last week and will tell us next week? Maybe so—and maybe that’s why when I dropped my wife off at Midway in the morning I told her to take the New York Times to read on the plane even though I hadn’t looked at it yet.

Or is the bigger part of the job finding guest essays that surprise and astound us because they are so off-the-wall—either very smart or very strange?