I used to love newspapers

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(Per assignment.)

Really. I used to really enjoy sitting down with a newspaper. I'm out of the habit now, and I'm getting to where I hardly read papers online. Some scattered reminiscences:

My great-grandmother, Minnie McGee, could have been a syndicated columnist. She had been writing letters to the Nowata Daily Star under the name Aunt Millie. Her letters usually began with, "I may be wrong -- I usually am...." They were really little op-eds, and the paper liked them well enough that they ran them, despite a policy against publishing anonymous letters. Family lore holds that she was offered a syndication deal, but turned it down.

I grew up with the Tribune and the Sunday World. Dad didn't get around early enough to read the paper over breakfast, and he could always find a copy of the Daily World at work to read, so we didn't subscribe to it. (Was that OK?) The Tribune he had time to read when he got home from work. I learned to read upside down so that I could read the funnies before he was done with them.

In college, our fraternity subscribed to the Boston Globe and later added the tabloid Herald at the urging of some brothers native to the area. Scattered about the fraternity commons you'd also find the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal -- and the Tulsa Tribune. I subscribed by mail so I could keep up with politics back home -- I kept my voter registration in Oklahoma and voted by absentee ballot. During a prolonged stay in the infirmary, a fraternity brother brought by a paper every morning. Sunday afternoons at the fraternity were lazy and quiet, brothers slumped on the chairs and sofas in commons, paging their way through the Sunday editions, while gnawing on fresh bagels from Kupel's Bakery. (Our ZBT chapter had a bagel chairman responsible for making the Sunday morning run to Kupel's.)

I still appreciate it when I'm traveling and the hotel provides copies of the local paper, instead of or in addition to USA Today. Hampton Inns are usually pretty good about that. I enjoy getting a sense of the local politics, and, if I visit often enough or stay long enough, to begin to know who the players are. Even if the presentation is one-sided, you can still get a feel for what the big issues are.

I loved reading the English-language Filipino newspapers during my summer in Manila. Despite 50 years as an American possession, they had developed a completely different set of English phrases for talking about the political process, plus you had the Filipino habit of referring to politicians by their nicknames, even in the classier papers. "Ninoy" -- Benigno Aquino -- was much in the news that summer of 1983, as he prepared to return home from exile in the United States. (A visit to the websites of Manila's papers reveals that a lot of homogenization with the rest of the English-speaking world has taken place.)

My favorite British paper: The Daily Telegraph.

That's all I got. Other Okie bloggers are writing much better stuff on the topic, and I'll post links tomorrow.


TulipGirl said:

Hooray! I'm so glad you've opened comments up on your site now. *grin*

And this whole Tulsa World thing just seems so bizarre. "Unauthorized links?" Where have these guys been the past decade?

762Steve said:

Another thought:
If the "whirled" ISP cannot/will not deal with a customer who ignores the "Fair Use" act,
could they [ the ISP ] be de-peered?

Do ISP's need to protect themselves from lawsuits over
there customer's acts?

De-peer [ verb ] To un-link, cease communication.
In use: "I de-peered him with a bolt cutter!"

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 18, 2005 10:10 PM.

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