Monday, March 12, 2007

The CJ Companion
You're an intelligent news consumer. You like to keep up with the world around you. You don't watch TV news because that would make you stupid. So you turn to the area's only source for meaningful news: The Courier-Journal.

But you're busy. You don't have time to sort through Sheldon Shafer's constipated ramblings about some strip-mall opening or Tom Dorsey's dorky witticisms about reality television just to find a nugget about the governor's latest criminal activity. How many times have you wasted your time on an article, only to think, "Goddammit. Why did I just read that gizmo guy's review of the new CrackBerry? Because I'm a feckin' sheep, that's why."

That's where The CJ Companion comes in. Now you can save precious moments with this handy OFGS at-a-glance guide to what – and what NOT – to read in today's Courier Journal:

Section A (A is for Advertising)

Page One:
The front page story about local college sports is an accurate but too-depressing reminder of our regional priorities. Skip it.

Story on dog ordinance: skip it. Spend that time making sure your dog's license is up to date and if you own a rotweiler or pit bull, have it put to sleep immediately.

Story on the death penalty: read it. It's important to be informed.

Iraq story: read it. You can never know too much about the evil America has brought to Iraq.

Pages 2-5: Wire service copy. Scan quickly in case the apocalypse is coming sooner than you'd planned. Use time saved to read The Requirement" by Wendell Berry in the March Harper's.

Op/Ed pages: Skip everything but the letters. Read them carefully, looking for signs of bigotry, hate, illiteracy, and poor grammar. It's important to know your neighbors. Avert your eyes from photos of David Hawpe or Cal Thomas. You don't want your unconscious mind firing that shit back at you in a dream some day. It's a blog day, so pause to chuckle at the very notion of a blog in print.

Back page: admire bra ad.

Section A Summary: Ignore all of page one except capital punishment. Read about Iraq, skim wire copy, skip all of op/ed but the letters. Give the bras another once-over.

Section B (B is for Bad News)
Left side folksy column: Skip it and read "Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut" by J. D. Salinger instead.

Education story: skip it – too depressing. Instead, vow to volunteer for Every1Reads organization. Write post-it note to remind yourself later.

Feel-good stories on Special Olympics and Black Achievers. Skip, skip.

Pages 2-3: speed read to make sure no co-workers are mentioned. Amuse yourself by being on the lookout for funny names like "Pinkstaff."

Page 4: AP copy, poorly written: skip. Instead, read Chapter 7 in "Siddhartha," in which Hesse describes the Pleasure Garden.

Page 5: Obits. Skip. They're all dead anyway.

Page 6: Scan 7-day weather forecast for opportunities to be outraged at gross inaccuracies. Read forecast for a city with a non-Gannett newspaper. Fantasize about living there.

Summary: Skip entire section, other than a quick co-worker scan.

Section C (C is for Cards. Unless you live outside Metro, in which case C is for Can't Read Anyway So Who Cares?)

Skip. Make a note to sign up to coach a soccer team. For a quick pick-me-up, download some photos of Maria Sharapova or David Beckham.

Section D (D is for Dumb)
Angie Fenton recycles some shit she found on the Internet about Jessica Simpson and Kenny Chesney. Skip it.

Sarah Fritschner waxes poetic about pork chops. Skip it and read 10 reasons not to eat pigs instead. Google "soysage."

Wire story about an ab machine. Skip it and do a yoga workout along with one of those hot MILFs on Lifetime.

Tom Dorsey whines about not being able to understand the voices on South Park. Skip it and download something from Comedy Central.

Funnies: skip them all, including Dilbert. They all lost their ability to portray the human condition somewhere along the way. Lament that you have too much Saturn, not enough moon:

If you're worried about alzheimer's onset, do the crossword. (Hint: seven letter word for "perplex:" "nonplus.")

Summary: You can never go wrong skipping this section in its entirety.

Business: Read the stories praising local companies for making billions poisoning their customers or exacerbating the excesses of the military/industrial complex. Scan "Business People" to make sure your co-workers aren't getting a leg up on you. Scan stories about science advancements for influences of religious zealots. On second thought, skip this whole section and read Training the Mind on the Dalai Lama's web site.

Neighborhoods: Skip it. Go for a walk around the block.

Use this guide again for tomorrow's paper. It'll all be the same shit again.

No comments: