Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Sunday Paper

It's Sunday so I started the day as I always do, with a pot of coffee and the Maine Sunday Telegram. I came across a few items of interest that I would like to share.

I always start with the comics because my brain needs to be stimulated by a considerable amount of caffeine before I am up to the task of comprehending any news items. The penultimate panel of "Pearls Before Swine" contained this gawd-awful pun: "THERE'S NO PEZNESS LIKE CHO PEZNESS!" What happened in the last panel made me laugh out loud. Stephan Pastis, the cartoonist, is one sick puppy - I like that in a cartoonist.

The international news included an item about a young man in China who had sold a kidney to raise money so he could purchase an iPhone and an iPad. Now I know that women (mostly) and men have "sold there bodies" in a euphemistic sense from the beginning of civilization, but to literally sell a body part in order to obtain the latest technological toys is troubling on many levels. Commenting on this and numerous other similar cases in China, an editorial in the official Communist Party newspaper in the region said, "In the choice between their bodies and materialism, they resolutely chose the latter". Are young people in the US any different, I wonder? Ironically, the advertisement that appeared directly under the article proclaimed, Good News! Attention Motivated Sellers - I represent an "all cash" client..." Presumably the ad was soliciting real estate offers, but do you suppose there was some subliminal messaging going on?

The "Insight" section included an item offering helpful tips for getting along with relatives at holiday dinners. The last suggestion I think could be helpful to keep in mind in many situations beyond holiday dining: "Remember that you will never change anybody's mind about the following topics: politics, contraception, foreign vs. domestic automobiles, country music, global warming, cats vs. dogs, boxing, evolution, high-protein diets, texting, unions, Julia Roberts (What! Somebody doesn't love Julia Roberts?),religion, Jay Leno vs. Conan O'Brien vs. David Letterman, jeggings (I didn't even know what this was until I looked it up), public education, ghosts and primogeniture." This is good advice which I will undoubtedly have forgotten when I next engage in conversation with a relative or anyone else, or write a post here - but hey, you don't have to read it if you don't want to know what I think.

And my favorite local columnist, Bill Nemitz (who often inspires either love or hate among his readers, depending on which side of the issue they are on), wrote a piece titled, "So why did Paul Violette violate our trust?" You may or may not know the story behind the question but you certainly know of far too many like it - a man from a privileged family had everything most of us could ever hope for, but for him it wasn't enough so he embezzled public funds. Nothing new in that is there? Nemitz goes on at some length to answer his own editorial question, but he really says all that needs to be said in his last few words: "For Paul Elmer was always good. It just wasn't good enough." It never is for people who have it all, is it?

Now I have to go do the crossword puzzle.

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