Thursday, June 23, 2005

Roadkill on the ... oh, never mind.

Posted by: spacecog on Buzznet

A week ago, idly perusing a copy of The Reader. I fell into a deep, deathlike slumber. I was awakened only this afternoon, jolted into consciousness with an adrenaline shot direct to my heart, delivered by my faithful nurse, Bettina. "What the hell," I murmured, once I recovered from the shock.

"You have been sleeping for a long time," she said. "I know you tell me not to disturb you when you are, how you say, indisposed, but I've never seen you sleep such a long time."

"What day is it?" I asked, still more than a little dazed.

"It is Thursday," she said. "June the 23rd."

I looked down at the copy of the Reader she had placed beside me on the couch. "ROADBLOCKS ON THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY," blared the headline on the cover.

"What year is it?" I asked, a tremor in my voice.

"It is 2005."

"Ah," I said, relieved. "Then it is not me but the editors of the Reader who have fallen into a time warp into the past!"

OK, OK, not all of the stuff above is, strictly speaking, true. Bettina is not, for example, a nurse; I just have her dress that way.


That headline was stale in 1994; now, it’s just bizarre. INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY?? Is Al Gore writing the headlines this week?

If you’re going to pull INFORMATION SUPERFUCKINGHIGHWAY out of your ass for a headline, why not just go all the way and call it the INFOBAHN. (Remember that?) Then at least you could do a headline like:



I do apologize for the profanity.

Later in the article we find one of the Reader’s trademark pull-quotes-long-enough-to-be-an-actual-article-by-itself. The scintillating bit of prose the Reader saw fit to puff up in red:

"Economists argue that, over time, most public decision makers fall victim to political pressure to provide cheap universal; service, and then they either run the enterprise into the ground or sock taxpayers with a big ongoing bill."

I feel myself getting woozy again even thinking about it.

Bettina! Prepare the smelling salts!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Deep Doo-Doohead

Posted by: spacecog on Buzznet
Now that the stupid spectacle of the Michael Jackson trial is over, we at The Reader Sucks can return our attention to even stupider things – like, for example, Michael "Scoops" Miner. This week Miss Stupid Thing delves shallowly into the mysteries of Deep Throat. The column is written in Miner’s typically, er, indirect style, which make the point of all his bloviating nearly as mysterious as the identity of Mr. Throat before he popped out of the Woodwardwork and into the pages of Vanity Fair.

Evidently, though, Miner is shocked-times-two by the devious deceptions practiced by W&B in their attempts to keep their famously anonymous source anonymous. After several hundred words of throatclearing, Miner devotes most of the story to investigative-journalist-cum-j school-prof William Gaines, who announced with great fanfare two years ago that he’d conclusively identified Deep Throat. Only he got the wrong guy. He blames W&B for planting red herrings instead of Blue’s Clues. The smoking gun here? W&B depicted Deep Throat as a smoker, yet the real Mr. Throat, Mark Felt, doesn’t smoke. (Well, unless you light him on fire.)

Fast-forward to today, and to perhaps the biggest irony of Miner’s dopey column. Though Miner finds it "perverse" that journalists Judith Miller (of the New York Times) and Matthew Cooper (Time) won’t reveal the identity of their own Deep Throat to a special prosecutor, Miner himself has no trouble using anonymous sources in his own attempts at journalism – even when there’s no reason beyond simple laziness for doing so.

For an infinitely more coherent and sensible take on Miller and Cooper, look here. For a brilliant and nuanced take on the strange relationships of journalists and their sources, read this.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

These Farts

Posted by: spacecog

Like Spiky I have not yet read enough of last week’s Reader to find something to write about for this little blog. Well, actually, I’ve read none of it.

Here’s the thing. As you may have noticed already, we at The Reader Sucks actually HATE reading the Reader. And there’s no issue of the Reader we hate reading more than the annual "These Parts" edition, wherein the Reader brings its patented brand of suck to quaint little cities that have the misfortune to be located within driving distance of our city. The Reader seems constitutionally incapable of finding interesting things to write about on its home turf, so why would we expect it to do better in places that are, let’s face it, even less interesting than here? Perusal of past These Parts issues suggests our fears are justified.

Still, I pledge to you that I will find something in this issue to write about, even if it means reading about some boring town rendered even more boring through the Reader’s reverse alchemy.

In the meantime: Liz Armstrong. Man boobs. Penis.

Monday, June 06, 2005


We're in the midst of the annual 'These Parts' ish, and frankly I haven't even looked at it yet. How much is there to say about Starved Rock and corn mazes?

Instead, try:
-City Wendy in the Windy City: Advice for 15-year-old girls
"It's okay to have hair on your arms. Really."

-VenusZine: How can I be famous like you?

"Expect that you are going to be raped just like every other starving wannabe."

-Dan Savage's post-election "Urban Archipelago" rant.
Still incisive. Especially as we look forward to this book.

-The Chicago Reporter: The New Slavery
A global prostitution ring in Rockford? Apparently.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Thing I learned from this week's Reader (6/3/05 edition)

Sex is the same as money.
-"The ideal guy ... doesn't think his fancy condo (or BMW) substitutes for some skills in the sack... Physically, you can be a little thick around the middle, a little bald on top.. I relish that exhausted, sweaty feeling of marathon sex." (#110589)

-"I am looking for a sweet, pretty, educated Caucasian lady or housewife who enjoys fine dining, hour-long sex and multiple orgasms." (#110719)

-"Calling all Volvo-driving ladies...I like: HBO, sushi, that's earned, money that isn't..retirement funds, good insurance, FedEx..I'm a young, clean, good-looking, femme, well put together professional chick.. Looking for another professional lady, clean, enjoys wine, could discuss a 401K while fucking." (#110687)

-"Very well-endowed, muscular model type..Looking to meet successful, educated, executive types (any age/race) for discrete adult playtimes." (sic!) (#110597)