I’ve decided not to read the newspaper on the subway in the morning anymore. Not that I was reading The New York Times of The Wall Street Journal, and the density of the information was burdening me. I usually read AM New York, the bastard child of New York newspapers, whose slogan should read, “It’s so bad, it’s free.” Recently, what has surprisingly gotten to me, is how depressing the news is. Literally, my days are worse for having read about wars, political conflicts, the rising cost of everything everywhere, the perpetually eroding rights of the human, the violence heaped upon violence and the general proliferation of stupidity, all before a single sip of coffee.
More than anything, it’s simply overwhelming. A person can’t be expected to digest all of this, while rumbling on a noisy, crowded, underground train, then, in the three minutes between exiting the station and getting to your office try to make some sort of sense of your place in it all, while still, in the meantime, keeping focus on every individual personal affect you have to, with immediacy, deal with above and beyond the cosmos. And then be expected to function as a polite, unaffected employee while old Jewish men call you into their office and say, “What should I do with this?” while they point to an email on their computer screen about a girl who, in order to get a liver transplant, needs you to forward this message to everyone you know.
Which reminds me: I was at a going away party for a friend of mine this past weekend (she’s going to some South American country to do good things, go figure), and this party happened to be on the roof of a high-rise building on the West Side. I, along with everyone I was with, was taken with the views; and I got to thinking – What is it about “views” that people love so much? Everywhere you go in NYC there is something beautiful, or at least interesting, to look at. Yet we withhold our marvel for panoramic skylines or vistas of the Hudson River. And this is what I came up with: I think we like the feeling that comes with taking in a large amount of space with a single glance. It makes for a nifty trick to think, “If I can take it all in so easily, how hard can it be to understand?” And I’ll be the first to admit, even New York looks pretty easy from sixty stories up.
But, unfortunately, we deal in particulars, street level, every ordinary day. Which is why I’m no longer reading the news. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on being any more dumb for not reading the newspaper. And besides I still have Yahoo – providing me with the news I want, when I want it, since 2001.
Bush Bashing Fizzles
“ . . . beneath the hubbub, we can see the playing out of another, less reported story: the collapse of the attempts by liberal Democrats and their sympathizers in the mainstream media –the New York Times, etc., etc.–to delegitimize yet another Republican administration.
Bush's presidency is still regarded as illegitimate by perhaps 20 percent of the electorate. But among the rest, the attempt to delegitimize him seems to be collapsing.”
It’s not so much that we’re laying off him as that we’re too busy fearing for our lives to be funny. Except for me.
Bacall Rips Cruise's 'Vulgar' Behavior
Lauren Bacall has a few unkind words to say about Tom Cruise. In an interview in the Aug. 8 issue of Time magazine, now on newsstands, the 80-year-old actress says, "When you talk about a great actor, you're not talking about Tom Cruise."
"His whole behavior is so shocking," she says. "It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially, but I think it's kind of a sickness."
Of Nicole Kidman, she commented: "She's not a legend," Bacall said. "She can't be a legend at whatever age she is. ... You have to be older."
After the interview, Bacall commented: “Where am I? What’s going on here? Whom are you?”
Tom Cruise fiercely responded to the report, saying, “I have nothing but the highest respect for Ms. Bacall. Nothing.”
(Note: Has anyone considered that if Katie Holmes took his last name, she would be Katie Cruise? Initially, I laughed and hated the name. Then, for some reason, it grew on me. Then I started to laugh again. At myself. For being so pathetic.)
Smelly Fungus Sparks Police Hunt For Corpse
BERLIN (Reuters) - The odor given off by an unusually large fungus in Germany was so foul that it sparked off a police hunt for a corpse, authorities said Sunday.
Police called off the search and retreated from the malodorous fungus, which German media said was over 20 cm long, much bigger than stinkhorns usually grow.
“retreated from the malodorous fungus” has to be one of the best phrases ever written in a news article. Don’t take this lightly, you will most likely never read that line again.
And finally, I love dogs. They’re just so cute.
Quote of the Day:
“Walking down the street in Assisi, if a car was approaching people would scream, "Car!" This became such a frequent thing that I made the joke that we had never seen a car before, and its movements were unpredictable and even uncontrollable, like we were walking in the deserts of Africa, and an elephant was barreling down the dirt path.”
- Bj’s ruminations on his recent trip to Assisi, Italy