Times

This year I haven’t written much. I haven’t had that much to say. Not really into writing something just for the sake of posting it. In most cases I like to have something to discuss, something to show, a story to tell or a point to prove.

My wife got me a subscription to the weekend edition of the New York Times. And after the first few issues I have to confess that I am finding it quite intimidating. Don’t get me wrong I love the paper and all of it’s content. But at the same time it makes me feel nervous and overwhelmed. It’s not the news, I am not subconsciously terrified by the news nor do I go into any sort of panic or malaise about current events, how we are all doomed. I don’t watch a weather report and call up random friends to warn them about icy roads, or tell people to watch out for swarms of killer bees or locusts. The paper makes me feel inadequate. I can’t seem to fulfill the commitment it requires. I approach and re-approach it on random occasions; it sits silently in an overstuffed overpriced magazine rack beside a comfortable chair. It is the quietest inhabitant of our home with the most to say. 

Sometimes there are more than one waiting, or a multitude of dispersed sections soldiering together, all evenly aligned awaiting assignment. Lingering in between these pre-fingered and semi-perused segments you can find older issues of the full colour magazine that comes in the belly of the beast. These magazines sometimes migrate to the upstairs bathroom and loiter there in hopes of being engaged with intermittently, or intently awaiting their first opening. The magazines are far too valuable to be cast aside without opening.

I’m not saying I don’t ever read it. I’m not saying it isn’t great or that it’s boring. I feel that it is the holy grail of periodicals, the landmark and cornerstone for journalistic accomplishment and aspiration.

I have read a measurable percentage of each issue, maybe missing two full volumes since the commencement of our subscription. Problem is the more I read the more I feel guilty for not reading it all. It’s like wanting to watch American football but realizing that the commitment is just too much to undertake on a weekly basis. You yearn for the deep dive and excitement of the game – but the rabbit hole is just way to deep. Another addicting thing about the New York Times is that all of it is written well. It’s like the more you read the better it seems to get, or in a sense it never seems to get tiring, trivial or “old”. Even the advertising is captivating. It may be my biased and subjective fascination and desire to be a part of such a great city and all it has to offer on so many levels. It may be the fact that I just like the idea of saying:

 “Hey I was reading in the New York Times that…” 

or 

“Oh did you know about: blah, blah, blah?”

“It was in the Times.”

Petty I know, but true…

Lots in there lately about that Trump guy… Actually I have pulled a few of my best Trump conversation trumps from the Times. At first reading about him was quite frightening and after a few articles I started to get the impression that he really was quite dangerous. I know I may seek late to the party but in general the Trump lynch bandwagon was such an easy ride I have tried to mostly avoid it. It seems like anyone and everyone that has an opinion on anything starts out with there opinion of Trump. Even my 14 year old niece was weighing in.

All in all the whole thing seemed a little over the top – quite a fitting parallel to match Trumps character in the first place. Still my core formulated opinion about the hype is this: Didn’t everyone already know what kind of man he was just by watching him on the apprentice for years gone by? Has everyone forgotten his Howard Stern interviews and celebrity gassing and grandstanding of the past? Ronald Regan made movies with monkeys (Bedtime for Bonzo). Isn’t that just as bad as grabbing ass and paparazzi showboating? 

I am not condoning his behavior nor am I pro or anti Trump. I just find the whole phenomenon very fascinating and somewhat shallow – at least from a top-side perspective. As a Canadian it seems ridiculous to weigh in on and share information about how “you” don’t agree with Trump’s values, how he is such a shameful archetype. It’s like people use it and feel compelled to share their opinion to try and affirm they would never be aligned with his values or lack thereof. Like they need to get it out or take the initiative way too far.

I think it is a perfect example of how mass media can generate such powerful and somewhat unproductive influencers. When I walk by a pet store and see them promoting the sale of dog shit bags with Trumps face on them it tells me how stupid everyone is. How shallow.

The Times has some very refreshing insights on Trump albeit none I recall as positive and most quite terrifying.

I know writing about Trump – even mentioning his name is a faux-pas, and that it makes me a complete hypocrite. Looking back at it all it just seemed like a big pop culture orgasm. I am sure we will see as much of his face in pop culture as we have of Richard Nixon. He may even end up taking Tricky Dick’s place depending on how he behaves.
So people, keep your Trump chump change conversation for when you line up at Tim Horton’s or when you are waiting in line at Walmart. I don’t give a shit what you think about him. Let’s talk about the weather, at least then I wont judge you on it.

When I look back at the last six months the Trump mania is really the main thing that surfaces. It could just be me but it seems to have resonance, although beginning to ember.

In closing, I recommend picking up a copy of the New York Times weekend edition and giving it a looky-loo. Sure you may not get through half of it but you will be glad you read what you did.

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