Friday, April 04, 2008

B2 is the Ideal Newspaper Page

Sitting at Florent, next to, incidentally Miranda July, I picked up a copy of today's Times and flipped to the Metro section. Unlikely choice (like the steak frites at 10:30 in the morning) but similarly fulfilling. The entire section was mindblowing but page B2 was weirdly the best single page of news I've ever read. That's not to say it's good news. The story focused on rape, murder, animal abuse, and drugs. But as measured by sensationalism and sordid details one couldn't ask for more.

  • Rape Word Not on the Sleeve But Over the Heart: Susan Dominus' profile of a never-been-raped Williamsburg feminist named Jennifer Baumgardner who has designed t-shirts that say "Raped" on them to be worn by women who have been sexually assaulted to "force [the issue] into everyday conversation." This idea is so so so bad on so many levels. Not the least of which is that perhaps rape shouldn't be forced into everyday conversation and certainly not one instigated by a t-shirt. It does however include this line about a raped woman wearing the shirt. "[A]s Ms. Clifford walked out the door, intending to wear the T-shirt to pick up her preschooler around the corner, it was easy to worry on her behalf about the other mothers’ reactions. Would they assume her son’s mother was deeply damaged, not just by the information displayed on the shirt, but by her choice to announce it on a pale pink T-shirt?"
  • Battling to Retain a Touch of the 19th Century: The perfect Metro story. Ye olde horse and carriage argument. A bunch of liberal activists (including "pop singer Pink" grandstanding on an issue (horse and carriage rides in the city) about which they know little versus the salt-of-the-earth stable proprietor "Irish-born Mr. McKeever, a goateed string bean of 39" who "grew up riding and grooming the dozen horses, mostly hunters, on his parents’ farm."
  • In Plainfield, N.J., 27 Are Arrested in Raid Aimed at Gangs: "When the raids were over, the police said, they had seized, from 39 homes, a dozen handguns, about $18,000 in cash, as well as crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and a three-foot-long alligator."
  • After backing Father in Murder Tiral, Sons Now Blame Him: A 72-year old man kills his 57-year old wife. His sons, in their 20s, defend him and blame her. Spare him punishment. A year later, they change their story. He's now to blame. The best part of this story is why he killed her. "Mrs. Odierno became increasingly unstable, hoarding toilet paper, bumping into her sons for no reason, and once unscrewing every light bulb in the chandelier."