My son’s ex-wife had this disdainful look on her face at the mention of the Pittsburgh City Paper. I don’t remember why it came up in conversation. But what was that look for? I never read it; I didn’t live in the city. But once I began staying for days at a time with my son in Pittsburgh, I’d pick up a copy every Wednesday. It’s free! It’s full of ads. They’re the reason it’s free. One of my Instagram photos was featured one time on “City Paper Interactive”. That made me feel acknowledged; it kept me shooting. It had local news stories. What’s wrong with that? It carries JENSORENSEN and WAYNOVISION cartoons that I clipped and magnetized to my fridge. I laughed at one cartooning the HR Manager. I can laugh at myself. I usually passed by the “News of the Weird”. That’s OK. I pass over lots of articles in my magazines and newspapers. It kept me informed about all those happenings about town. It led me to a Bodiography performance at the Byham on a snowy winter night. I search the ads for research studies. They’re looking for those with Borderline Personality Disorder or people smoking non-menthol cigarettes or shopping for certain things at convenience stores. They haven’t been interested in studying me yet. They review movies. I read their opinion and then decide for myself whether I’ll give it thumbs up or thumbs down. It presents me with Alzheimer-fighting crosswords. I did them years ago and usually pass on them now. I think I already saved my brain. Then I come to the end, “Free Will Astrology”. I don’t believe, but I read. It’s like all those fortune tellers. They’re bound to get something right sometimes. This week there was some passage from Thoreau for Gemini. Funny thing, I’ve been thinking of a road trip to nature. Finally, there is “Savage Love”. Sometimes I call this, the “News of the Weird”. I’m still learning. But then one day there it was a letter from some 65-year old woman. Maybe not so weird.
So what’s not to like? It is what it is. And I like what it is. No pretense of something else. I read it and learn things. What more can you ask?