Get a load of the headlines this morning in the Springfield Republican. I realize that the stampede of readers and advertisers to the internet has resulted in staff cutbacks, but can't we do better than "Thunderstorms Strike Region" - I mean that's news I already got looking out the window. Then look at the one next to it; "Retailers Expected to Raise Prices." Oh really, when have they not been expected to?
You can almost see the scene in the newsroom yesterday, and hear the conversation that transpired.
First Reporter: Hey man, what are we gonna do? It's less than an hour before deadline and the whole top of the front page is blank!
Second Reporter: Well, what do you expect? How can we gather enough news to fill the paper when there's just you and me and Bill the janitor in the whole damn building?
First Reporter: Actually, Bill the janitor left an hour ago. He only works part time since the last round of cutbacks.
Second Reporter: We gotta come up with something for the main headline. Are there any investigative pieces on local corruption ready to print? We sorta owe the public something after all those years we were silent while our publisher's pets robbed the public blind.
First Reporter: Investigative pieces? How can there be any investigative pieces when we haven't got any investigative reporters left!
(Suddenly there is a loud crash of thunder)
Second Reporter: Wow, that sounded real close by!
First Reporter: Too bad it didn't strike the newspaper building and put us out of our misery!
Second Reporter: Eureka! That's it! Let's write about the rain!
First Reporter: Oh yeah, great idea! That's something we can cover by watching the weather station and looking out the window! We can whip out a story like that in ten minutes! I can see the headline now, "Thunderstorms Strike Region."
Second Reporter: Oh wait, but there's a small strip along the left hand corner that is still blank.
First Reporter: Here, run this wire story "Retailers Expected to Raise Prices."
Second Reporter: Um, aren't businesses always expected to raise prices?
First Reporter: Nevermind, it fills the space! Now it's time to put this paper to bed! Call down to the press foreman and tell him we'll be ready to print in fifteen minutes!
Second Reporter: Excellent! I knew that two highly trained journalistic professionals with advanced degrees from elite universities like ourselves could come up with the news!
First Reporter: Yep, that's why they pay us the big bucks!
From Creators Syndicate:
Looks like Obama got a bit of a bump in the polls from his European tour, but before we start practicing saying President Obama, columnist Suzanne Fields suggests we remember the election of 1896.
When William Jennings Bryan, at 36 the youngest man to be nominated for president, delivered his "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic National Convention at the old Chicago Coliseum in 1896, the Democrats thought their "Boy Orator of the Platte" was irresistible, unstoppable and inevitable.
So did the Republicans. The crowds were frenzied and passionate. He was the candidate of change, "the man we have been waiting for." William McKinley, the experienced war hero, had a quieter campaign style, and invited voters to his home in Canton, Ohio, to listen to him speak from the front porch.
The German movie director Wim Wenders used the polished red marble of the Victory monument as a setting for his "Wings of Desire," about an angel who is reduced to a mere mortal. Barack Obama might retire to a friendly front porch to reflect on whether there might be a lesson there.
It was so foggy this morning the sun looked like a hazy yellow ball as seen below hovering over the Amherst Cinema.
Hanging from the wire is a pair of sneakers, which drunken students sometimes use to decorate their environment.
There was a blood drive on campus today in the Cape Cod lounge. I was surprised to see it because there aren't a lot of people on campus this time of year besides UMass workers and weird characters that haunt the place like me.
Of course as a queer I am forbidden to give blood because of the fear of AIDS, even though I just had a physical in June and tested negative.
Jay is doing a tour of clubs on the Left Coast. Here are a few snippets from this weekend's shows.