Black and white and gone all over

Pardon me for writing about newspapers two weeks in a row, but this is too much. In the Globe and Mail today, there’s a story about a man who has quit using toilet paper. Instead, he takes a short shower after every ablution and urges the rest of us to do the same in order to save trees, electricity and the free world. In yesterday’s New York Times, there was a piece about a man who’s gone cashless. So far, in 2018, he says he has managed to touch hardly any paper money or metal coins. When I went on on the weekend, the top five stories were all soft stuff starting with the craziest April Fool’s yarns ever.

Whatever happened to the news? Where do I go to find it? Nowadays, you can’t find a news story to wipe your you-know-what with. Maybe I’m part of the problem. I used to read Time, Newsweek and Maclean’s religiously every week. Now I read none of them in a month of Sundays. A while back, when the late and unlamented Newsweek was resurrected, I didn’t even bother to pick up a copy to see if they still knew what they were doing, or if George Will had his old column back again. Or was that in Time?

Newspapers in Canada have never been as readable as the British press. During the first few weeks I lived in Britain in the 1980s, I’d go to the news agent first thing every morning, buy several papers, and spend hours wallowing in wonderful reads that even included obituaries of people I’d never heard of because every word was like a polished gem strung on a beautiful necklace. After a while, I limited my purchase to one quality paper and one tabloid just so’s I’d have time for other duties during the day.

I hereby swear an oath. I’ll keep looking for the news, and if I find it, I’ll pay for it. Meanwhile, I’ll just do what everybody else is doing, read for free and get exactly what I paid for. Complaining all the while.




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