Reading Stuff

You know what I miss?  Reading newspapers and periodicals.  And one of the things the Brits do better than we do is this:

When I was the house guest at Free Market Towers, the first great pleasure of the day was not that first cup of coffee — at least, not altogether the first — it was the opportunity of reading an actual (dead tree) newspaper, great huge sheets of newsprint crammed with articles, essays, news and all sorts of stuff which could satisfy a polymath like me, learning all sorts of unlikely things that I wouldn’t ordinarily glance at.  But there, pint mug of coffee in hand, was the Daily Telegraph  which has somehow managed not to become  a complete waste of paper like so many others, e.g.  New York Times and Chicago Tribune, to name but two.

Back when I lived in the Chicago ‘burbs and caught the 5:30am train into the Loop each morning, I’d stop at the little kiosk at the Arlington Heights Metra station, buy a donut, cup of coffee and the Tribune ;  and let me tell you, the 90-minute journey into town took no time at all, because the Trib back in those days was not the Lefty rag it is today, boasting as it did wonderful writers like the late Mike Royko.

Which leads me to my next point.  For an old fart like me, who likes holding paper (whether newspaper or a book) to read, what the hell am I supposed to do?  There’s not a single U.S. newspaper worth the paper it’s printed on — go on, name me one, I challenge you — so even if we did have a corner newsagent like the one in the pic, there would be absolutely no point in calling on one unless it was to stoke my already-high morning irritation level up to boiling point.

And I’m quite aware that some of the smaller local newspapers are pretty good, but I don’t want a suburban newspaper:  I want a nice big fat city newspaper whose “World News” section isn’t just Associated Press feeds or cribs of CNN.  I want London’s Sunday Times  (just for its peerless Business & Economics section) and the Daily Telegraph, tailored for the U.S.

I don’t want to get my news online anymore;  mostly, it’s complete bullshit and clearly aimed for people with the attention span of mayflies.  Just when I’m getting interested in a topic, it ends with some trite sign-off from the writer, as though a topic actually worth about a thousand words is only given two hundred.  (I don’t know if that’s the fault of the Editor — always trying to pander to the aforesaid mayflies — or of the journalist, for whom a 1,000-word article would be beyond his writing capability and might require [gasp]  both a grasp of the topic and some journalistic research to reach that target length.)

I feel like my reading ability is being stifled, and it’s deteriorating;  and I don’t know what to do about it.


  1. Kim,
    I’m with you on the ‘Trib not being worthy of wrapping 3-day old fish, save one shining example. John Kass. He’s a bit like you, a raconteur, and loves nothing more than skewing the Chicago / Cook County / Springfield crowd. I guess every leftist copy of Pravda has its token. That said, there’s so much other crap in the Trib, that even their very affordable online-only version isn’t worth the virtual toilet paper upon which it’s printed.
    The Loop is a burned out shadow of its former self, especially in the aftermath of Floyd / Bacon Lettuce Mayo. Armed or not, I wouldn’t go down there in the daytime.
    As for reading … watch for guest postings by “Second City Cop” on “The Chicago Contrarian” page. While not “dead tree”, still worth the time. They tell the real story as to what’s happening.
    – Brad

  2. I was watching’Tora Tora Tora’. In the scene the generals and politicos were squabbling about what happened and what to do. But in the background, there’s a guy wrestling with a huge sheet of paper. He’s trying to fold it, patiently wrestling while the leads are doing their thing. Slowly he loses patience and road rage takes over and he gives up and start folding the whole mess together into a wad. At first I thought it was a map or a chart, and I laughed like hell when I finally figured out it was a newspaper. I hadn’t seen one in 100 years! 😂👍

    I completely quit the mass media 10 or 15 years ago. Reading that tripe is like being trolled by a 12 year old girl. A STUPID 12 year old girl. I do the blogs and the only social media I bother with is GAB and open forums like American Renaissance.

    My alienation extends to books too. I now flat out refuse to by new books written by female authors. Buy one, and you will find it to be a liberal morality play starring queers, feminists, marxists and other degenerate turd characters whom I can’t manage to care about. The new stuff is usually poorly written too. I stopped buying new books when the winner to stinker ratio went up past 1:10.

    Deal with it, Boomer. It’s a brave new world now, and obsolete guys like us have no place in it.

  3. It’s a lament I share with you, Kim. And my young adulthood was spent in Chicago, up until joining the Air Force at 26, so I remember the Tribune of which you speak. Sigh.

    This won’t scratch that itch, I’m afraid, it is simply not the same thing, and it is only a weekly. But at least it is not Pravda, and they are doing true, old-fashioned investigative journalism, with a hint of nostalgia (feel good stories about current events that could have happened in the 50’s. That’s the Epoch Times.

    No, it’s not the old Trib, with an arts & entertainment section, food section, architecture, and other weekly features, and world-class world reporting. But it’s well-researched, well-written, and NOT bullshit at least. I had only the online subscription for a while, but like you, I like to hold the paper in my hands, so succumbed to the weekly print plus digital offer.

    I don’t subscribe to hardly any online offerings, frankly, it never got my knickers in a twist that other sites were serving up ads based on my browsing history, and think it’s a good compromise for the site to make money and for me to get free content. But if I subscribed to every outlet that’s been shadow banned by Google and can’t or won’t earn ad revenue, my fees would be in the high hundreds pretty quickly, maybe even 4 figures. The Epoch Times is it, my sole paid subscription, but I believe it is worth it.

    I used to subscribe to the National Review Online, until they fell into full-on, rabid TDS and pushing Globalist, Corporatist Cabal nonsense, and I canceled it. The Epoch Times is worth the price, in my opinion. Check them out if they have a free trial offer.

  4. Agreed. I grew up in late 50s – 60s. That meant The NYTimes sunday edition. I used to read everything in it in each section. Took me until Wednesday. Later when I was wearing a badge A co-worker was a repurposed Talmudic scholar. Really. He spent 11 years at Columbia going for a PhD in Hebrew. Most brilliant guy I have ever known. When I made an obscure reference to an artichoke he commented that I had the broadest knowledge he had encounted despite never haviing been anyplace ! I laughed.

  5. If you get a subscription to anything, digital or dead tree, you become a captive to the world view of whomever is editing the thing, at least psychologically. I paid for this and I must be right, therefore it is my go to source. If you are to have a chance of understanding what is actually going on, you must multiple source. The web, of course is ideally suited to this.

  6. I agree with you.

    I used to pick up a paper of the local city where I was working. I usually read the editorial page, letters to the editor, do the crossword puzzle at lunch and read other parts. The Sunday paper was usually filled with longer stories and more interesting sections.

    When their bias leaked out of the editorial page and into the alleged news articles was the time to stop all subscriptions and picking up the paper. You could tell they were in decline because they changed the format of one paper, advertisements became smaller and the paper became thinner. There were fewer articles by local writers and more articles became Associated Press or other wire stories. Good riddance.


  7. YAIIT the Epoch Times weekly print edition. News, quality-of-life articles, and a couple of pages of puzzles.

    1. I second the Epoch Times I usually read it on the web but I’ve read the dead tree version and it is pretty good. The bad part is it is a weekly.

    2. > the Epoch Times weekly print edition

      My parents recommended that one to me…went with a digital subscription simply because the last time I was subscribed to a printed newspaper, read and unread issues tended to pile up for a month or two until I got around to throwing them out. Digital is cheaper, faster, and doesn’t clutter my condo.

      As far as local papers go, the Las Vegas Review-Journal is fairly decent. They were one of the few papers (and by far the largest of them) to endorse Trump, if that tells you anything. I have their RSS feeds in my reader.

      1. The LVRJ has taken a dislike to AdBlockers, and when you try to click through to an actual article, they tell you to disable, subscribe, or go away.
        I just read the headlines now.

  8. I feel your pain. But I gave up on dead tree news reading long ago when I realized that I read maybe two or three pages. Front page, and op eds which would then boil my blood. I used to read the Wall Street Journal. But got tired of ‘According to those familiar with the matter’ overuse. Who the F is that? Your buddy at the bar? Reading the front page stories to the end, I counted that phrase like 30 times in one issue.

    I had a huge wave of nostalgia while in Victoria BC. While sitting in the concierge level, sipping whisky at the end of the day, I’d read the local paper. What a pleasure to read words written in proper English and at an adult level. Even the letters to the editor were well thought out and written.

    Made me mourn the 5th grade level most journalists are only capable of these days.

    So there’s your answer. They aren’t worth reading because those writing them are retarded, illiterate, and haven’t had an original thought in their lives.

  9. +1 on comments above. We used to our local rag when we live in California. For the big stuff, they just regurgitated AP which was crap. However they did a fair job of reporting local stuff and we enjoyed that. The day they piously announced that they would no longer publish want ads for firearms is they day I cancelled our subscription. Best I can do for today is offer up some nostalgia.

  10. good writers write to the average level of their reading audience which says something about the level of teaching in our K-12

  11. I sympathize, but am happy the dead tree newspapers are dying…Thanks to technology, they are no longer ‘news’ paper, they are old reports of activities, combined with biased ‘editorials’ – those on the editorial page, and the rest.

    I was commenting at another website the other day about the lack of use for newspaper: Garbage disposals have eliminated wrapping kitchen waste baskets, puppy training pads, etc.

    Good riddance. I can get more current ‘news’ from a dozen different sites, with the editorial content and tenor that I approve of. And not get news ink on my hands.

  12. No surer sign of the Death of Print than the closing of “The Out of Town News” in the center of Harvard Square. It was my goto source for “Motor” and a whole slew of Automotive journals and they also carried all sorts of publications, including Pravda and various other publications of interest for the Harvard facility and students. If the Out of Town News didn’t have it , they could get it. They were also the first stop for the Sunday Globe Newspaper trucks. ~ 11:30 Saturday night as i recall. “Still Hot of the Press”

    Now I’m reduced to Jalopnic and the like. But at least the news is current instead of 3 months later when it eventually showed up in Motor that arrived by ship..

    1. that was a wonderful store that I stopped by on occasional trips into the city when I lived near Boston.


      1. Ah yes, I would get Motor, Autocar, Car and a few other English car magazines from that shop in Harvard Square. The Brits rarely found fault with British cars! I was amazed at the variety of magazines they had. They seemed to have them all.

  13. I no longer read newspapers or magazines – magazines lost me when National Geo and
    Scientific American went full blown left !
    One of my major annoyances – I bet most here can identify with this – was and still is –
    You read an article about a subject with which you are familiar. Maybe very knowledgeable. You find multiple errors in the article, from simple misunderstandings to out and out falsehoods. You shake your head, grind your teeth and wonder if ANY research or review was done by the author(s) and move on.
    Oh well.
    The next article you read is on a subject about which you know little if anything and you take everything it says the Gospel Truth !
    Seems that most ‘journalists’ are probably assigned subject matter to write about and as a
    group have become lazy, or apathetic and simply no longer verify ANYTHING they write.
    Conclusion becomes that everything you read probably contains anything from a misspelling
    or two up to and including falsehoods from beginning to end made up from whole cloth !!
    This includes, periodicals, newspapers – local, national and everything in between, and the internet.
    Therefore I try to live by and judge by something someone told me long ago – ‘don’t believe a damn thing your read or hear and only about HALF of what you see’. Has served me well.

    1. The general line of what Wallace discusses was a multi-part feature in the OCRegister over twenty years ago when it was still owned by the original family, and they still had editors who cared.
      Then the “Old Man” died, the heirs wanted money, not control of a newspaper, and it was sold off, and became just another dry watering hole in the desert.

    2. > One of my major annoyances – I bet most here can identify with this – was and still is …

      Michael Crichton called that the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

      1. Thanks Scott for the ‘memory jolt’.
        Could not remember WHERE I’d picked that up !

  14. I was going to suggest the Shotgun News, but I’m pretty sure it went bad twenty years ago.
    I sure miss Fred’s ad in the front.

  15. A subscription to Guns and Ammo came free with a TV application subscription that I enjoy. I get the monthly NRA rag.

    In the past I have had subscriptions to American Handgunner, another FMG publication, Field and Stream, Smithsonian, Backwoods Home and a few others. New Yorker Magazine and various newspapers. I’ve picked up news stand copies of National Review, American Spectator and other periodicals. I find that I don’t miss them much

    Too often they went or go unread before the next issue arrives or they became a print collection of rubbish such as New Yorker and various newspapers.

    I’d love to read Fred’s old articles in Shotgun News and the writings of Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith, Jack O’Connor, Jeff Cooper etc. Some of their books are easy to get others are expensive.



  16. Kim,

    I think the best you’re going to do these days is an iPad and subscriptions to the Telegraph and the Times.

  17. No help with the publications, but when I was exiled to illannoy I was initially in an Evanston apartment two blocks from an L station. Right next to it was a news stand/shop that carried periodicals from all over the world. Every major US and many foreign major papers, magazines from multiple countries… it was an amazing place. I used to visit it every couple of weeks (since I didn’t ride the train it wasn’t a daily thing) and pick up mostly odd magazines, occasionally a newspaper (we received the Tribune back then).

    Miss that place and the nearby greek restaurant that had the best souvlaki with tzatziki sauce and greek fries I’ve ever had…

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