Perusing the Sunday L.A. Times...
I've pulled a few sections out of the paper to go with my morning coffee. I tend to pull the same ones out every Sunday, the soft stuff. Not only does it let me sidestep hard thinking, it gives me the chance to catch up on lifestyles and trends, bringing into clear focus the distance between hipness and me.
First section, front page: Datelines -- Washington, Halifax, Mexico City, New York, San Francisco. Nice to know the big news is out of town. Also, when the space aliens land they will learn that 80% of human concerns center around Labor Day sales.
Section B, the local county: Schools banish Spanish, fishermen want otters ousted, rattlesnakes bite. Two teenage boys out reptile hunting. Snake bites boy on thumb, friend retaliates, "I cried a little, cussed a lot and then beat its head." he told a reporter. "It's an extreme rush" he said when asked why he and his friend hunt snakes. As any friend would, he then decapitated the snake and carried it to a nearby gas station where the bitten boy called 911. The lads said they planned to eat the snake. The injured boy is being kept overnight in the hospital for observation. "He's absolutely not allowed to do this," his mother said.
Real Estate section: Celebrity house purchases, gardening tips, and a letter from a woman who's pissed because she put down $800 in earnest money to buy a house. Then she had a bad dream that water was running down the walls and that dead people were buried in the house, so now she wants her money back. Are there people like this in your town?
Life & Style section: fashion, fashion, fashion, fashion, fashion, Marilu Henner. I'm sure it's the same in your paper too. In something called "Culture Watch", I read where a woman is starting a magazine to report on the thriving scene in L.A.'s Eastside. She calls the area around the Silverlake District "the Eastside", which is like calling Las Vegas the mid-west. But be that as it may, she's a woman who wants so desperately to have a career that can keep her at the right parties that she's willing to put up her own money to print things about people who she wants to be her friends. This is the L.A. entrepreneurial spirit... in the Involvement Opportunities section, "Pugs 'n Pals", a rescue group for pugs, is in need of volunteers. Why do I get the feeling that if you showed up with a schnauzer you'd get an icy "As if"?
Book Review: Lots of reviews of things I'll never read written by people who sound like they argued a lot at parties in college, and probably still do.
Opinion: Reading this section now, after the previous offerings, is like popping out of a purple overcast to reveal that there really are thinking people out there. And they're thinking about really depressing things. It's Sunday. I'm moving on. But thanks for the reminder.
Travel: One of my favorite sections, probably because my wife never takes me anywhere. There's always an interesting main feature, though it's usually geared to people who can afford the trip. The curse of the travel section is that is has to be less about the experience of travel and more about the experience of interacting with the travel industry, but hey, that's the newspaper biz, kids. Airfare charts are always a stimulating way to find out how you feel about people and places far away -- "That much money? To go there? To see those people?" Listen, I'd go anywhere to see anybody anytime. Just like Ray Stevens sang in that powerfully immortal song "Everything Is Beautiful", everything is beautiful. But if it's my dime, I get picky.
Los Angeles Times Magazine: Big color pictures of new makeup ideas. Finally!
Well, that's it. The coffee's cold, the bed is still unmade, and the back lawn is hissin' "mow me." Gotta go.
"No Life" -- Charles Kimbrough, Dana Ivey -- SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE: ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING
Wisdom of the Day:
"Travellers, like poets, are mostly an angry race."
- Sir Richard Burton (Narrative of a Trip to Harar)