—- Bill Maher
I was talking to a senior Kansas City Star staffer yesterday about the uncertain future of newspapers when they reminded me of how vinyl records and typewriters have come back in recent years. The idea being that, like that New York Times TV ad, it can be hip for a handsomely-attired, 30-something dude to be seen with an actual newspaper instead of lockstepping it with the laptop and iPad lemmings.
Interesting concept, except the so-called revival of turntable owners is infinitesimally small compared to the number of folks enjoying their music digitally.
And of course, there’s the Green Factor – something Paul Wilson dismisses and disdains as merely politically correct (news flash!). Not to mention the expense and time delay of gathering, editing and publishing the news then delivering it to somebody’s office or driveway.
Pony Express, anyone?
Which brings me to my retro habit of pouring through the Kansas City Star newspaper each day.
I was reminded this morning – as my soaked to the bone Star now cooks at 200 degrees in my oven – of a ritual my dad would perform when I was a little kid. You know, before they started plastic bagging the paper on rainy or snowy days.
Ah, but 40 minutes later it was cooked to perfection. If wrinkly, stuck together pages that look like someone spent a restless night sleeping on them is your idea of perfection.
The coffee klatch crowd would have laughed that studly-looking New York Times-reading dude out of Starbucks if he’d shown up in public with this baby.
Hey, no complaints.
Because for example I learned from Lisa Gutierrez that the Kansas City Royals have been so bad in recent years that up until recently they were hustling scoreboard wedding proposals to fans for 500 bucks a throw. It wasn’t really breaking news since the team stopped the practice midway through last season after they started playing halfway decent ball, but it was news to me.
And that in a tiny outtake, Kansas City is supposed to find out today if we have a shot at the Republican National Convention in 2016. But unlike more prominent, past news stories that made it sound like KC had a really good chance of caging the elephants, the item ran as a “short take,” buried as they like to say, at the bottom of Page 4.
It was fairly difficult reading today’s paper with the pages so crinkled up, but I also learned that Arrowhead and Kauffman stadiums are “still in excellent condition,” according to their new “report cards.”
Geez, the remodeled Arrowhead just made its debut like four years ago and The K the year before. They spent more than $600 million of mostly taxpayer money, so I’d rather hope they’re still be in good shape. But who doesn’t like getting a good report card?
I had a hard time reading the fine print on the hearing aid and AARP ads as I pried the newspaper pages apart, but it was worth it to learn Starbucks is bringing back banana-iced lemon and pumpkin cake. And that “to curb murders, anti-violence groups must cooperate.”
It was also good to know Dillard’s is hosting a handbag and watch “trade in event” through April 6th and Bike America is having a “swap meet” at its Overland Park store Saturday and Sunday.
On the other hand, today’s Food Section was rather unappetizing-looking, starting with a blurry, shriveled photo of a dozen or so local hottie bartenders. It was however good to learn that 21 all-women bartenders would be competing in a “speed bartending” contest Saturday at the Madrid on Main.
Or so I thought.
Because if you’re strictly an FYI Section devotee and don’t scour the A Section news rehashes, you probably missed the tiny correction and would be arriving at the Madrid a day too soon. That’s because the FYI section is printed in advance and the freelancer who fed the Star the story messed up and put in the wrong date.
It’s this Sunday not this Saturday.
Don’t thank me.
It took me awhile to peel away the Westlake Ace Hardware ad that had fused itself to today’s Sports Section, but when I finally did…
I learned that nice guy former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green will become a CBS Sports analyst this football season. And that buried in a story about the chances of Bill Self recruiting a top high school basketball player, KU’s landing him hinges on whether likely one-and-done freshman KU center Joel Embiid decides to stay or go to the NBA. If Embiid stays, the high school star will look elsewhere.
You know, all in all today’s newspaper wasn’t pretty – I wasted some time and energy drying it – and I didn’t exactly feel like a cool guy reading what remained of it, but once again I got my morning local news fix the old fashioned way…by reading a weather beaten, oven-dried newspaper…just like my dad used to.
Now maybe I’ll go into the family room and listen to Lana Del Ray’s record “Born to Die” on my bone dry, Rega RP6 Union Jack turntable.