Reading the newspaper will make you cool

Garrison Keillor wrote an interesting article entitled, “Newspapers give us style all our own.” It’s an excellent piece which I greatly enjoyed. Newspapers are classic. They do portray certain cool style when you are reading one in a cafe. Newspapers do need to stick around to have that visceral connection with the news.

But there’s one thing that is in the back of my head. Instead of just being a consumer, I’d also rather be a creator, which the internet enables me to be both a consumer and a creator. Keillor mentions rule number five for reading the newspaper:

Always rip out a story or two and tuck it in your pocket. Not casually, like it was a recipe for meatballs, but with urgency and purpose. This creates an indelible aura of mystery.

Stick the story in your pocket? I’d rather post a link to the story on my blog with commentary. Just like what I’m doing here. And plus we can hear what the readers of my blog think of this article too. Comments, anyone?

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Tom Saaristo
13 years ago

I read this article … online!

unlikelymoose
13 years ago

Mr. Kellllor’s article is wraught with fraud. There’s so many problems with this article. According to Mr. Kellllllor, here’s how we should use the newspaper: Spend “no more than 20 minutes” reading the paper. We shouldn’t actually read any articles. Doing so would be make us “drudges”. Instead, “A glance is usually good enough.” He goes on to say that newspapers are beneath him, “When you’re done with a paper, clap it shut and toss it aside… A gesture of dismissal that says, ‘Feh! Enough of this pettiness!'” His lack of desire for intelligence has sunk deeper. Apparently any form of intelligence is wrong and deserves to be dismissed. So Kelllllor has established himself as completely superficial and lacks any coherent logic or sense of cerebal activity. Ok. Nice. I’m happy for you, Garrison. But it doesn’t stop there. Let’s actually humor Garrison and stoop down to his level. A newspaper’s only function is as a device for making us look cool. Garrison says that a laptop only makes us look like bumbling fools. Even that argument is wrought with error. His only argument why laptops are not good for looking cool is that people spend their time in the “pathetic” world of MySpace and the such. What does it matter to you, Garrison? You already established that content is useless and beneath you? You established that it doesn’t matter if the content is about deep world issues or if the content is about the neighbor’s kittie. What do you care? That contradiction COMPLETELY dismisses his entire article. By the way, Garrison, if you want to look cool in a cafe, then laptops, not newspapers, are the way to go. Let me introduce the “spy factor”. A spy reading the newspaper in the cafe is simply waiting for something to happen. Boring. In the same cafe, there’s another spy in the corner with a laptop. He’s changing the world! He’s busting codes, taking down powergrids in Bangladesh, and breaking into the Swiss bank. Sure, this sort of thing only exists in the movies. But we’re talking about image, here. According to you, it’s all about the image. Using laptops in a public setting is far more cooler than reading a newspaper.

unlikelymoose
13 years ago

Oh. I have one more comment. At the end of Kellllor’s article he talks about a friend who spends time “checking out the Times and the Washington Post and Slate”. Kelllor then gets into a long-winded story how his friend gets pulled into a mind-numbing video thus wasting the “rest of his day”. (Logistically this doesn’t make sense. What internet video lasts rest of the day? Most vidoes on the interent last no more than 3 minutes.) Kelllor says his friend could have spent 20 minutes looking cool pretending to read the newspaper rather than wasting the “rest of his day” watching a useless internet video. I really don’t understand this logic. If Kelllor’s friend has any sort of self-control, then he wouldn’t be spending the rest of his day looking at useless stuff on the internet. His friend could read The Times, The Post and Slate and maybe spend 2 minutes watching a useless video. That time invested is far more valuable than Kellor’s approach of pretending to read the newspaper. Kellor makes it sound like he cannot resist looking at useless stuff on the internet. He makes it sould like the internet has put chains on his wrists and forces him to spend all day surfing the web looking at dumb stuff. Well, Kellor, the solution is called self-control. Sounds like you need to get some.

unlikelymoose
13 years ago

I’d rather look like a spy breaking in the Swiss Bank than a goofy romantic pretending to read the paper.

unlikelymoose
13 years ago

Ok, spud, I understand your point. My long-winded comments are probably too literal. Garrison Kellllor most likely was making such claims in his article to prove the notion that newspapers have a romantic quality to them. In some ways I have respect for him cuz he made some crazy statements in the article that put himself at risk. It was a bold move. I have to applaud him there. Though he contradicts himself too much. He should have spent more time thinking this article through instead of pretending to read the paper. With that said, I still argue that using a laptop in a cafe is FAR MORE intriguing to others than reading a paper. When I walk into Panera Bread and I see someone reading the paper, I think “ok that person is reading the paper”. When I see someone at Panera using a laptop, my curiousity peaks. “What are they doing? Are they designing logos? Are they just checking email? Or are they breaking into the Swiss Bank”. Laptops are far more mysterious than newspapers in public areas.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

People who read the newspaper are smart. and very attractive. *whistles*

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