I hate to agree with the late Ray Kroc but the persistence thing happens to be true. There are brainier, more perceptive film critics out there. I’m a fairly skilled writer but there are others in my realm whose prose is smoother or more certain. I know my film history as well as the next USC- or NYU-educated grad but others are more knowledgable in some respects. (On the other hand nobody knows more than I do about aspect ratios…I take a back seat to no one in this regard.) But I’m a hammer when it comes to cranking out this column, which I’ve been doing for 18 years now, and this — discipline, devotion, no days off — has been crucial in my staying afloat and becoming a well-known, well-travelled bigmouth.

The only hitch is that Kroc apparently stole these words from either Francis Beatty Silverwood, who may have written them back in 1913, or from President Calvin Coolidge.