For those of us who still remember what a newspaper looks like: remember Sunday mornings when the newspaper had the full color, several page comics section?
I remember getting so excited to read the paper with my Dad. He would read the “grown up” sections…mostly sports and headlines and the book review. And I got to read the “funnies”. For the most part, pretty straightforward social or moral commentary. Sometimes over my head.
I related to Garfield’s hatred of mornings, although not yet Mondays. I had sympathy for Charlie Brown but TOTALLY related to Snoopy…whether he be Joe Cool, The Red Barron or whomever else he dreamed up while snoozing away on top of his dog house. I wondered if parents like the ones in the Family Circus actually existed and strove to understand what the heck was going on in Doonesbury and Mary Worth.
It is also where I learned all the verbal expressions for disappointment and frustration: “Aarrgh” and “Aaack” and so forth.
My time with the comics as a kid and the nostalgia of the quality down-time and not-so-serious take on the world is probably why I get (and only get) the Sunday paper delivered to my house. That and the New York Times was giving away free tote bags at that art and music festival and I had a lot of free samples of granola and five hour energy to carry. And who doesn’t love torturing themselves with an impossible-to-solve crossword?
It is, however, interesting to see where the life cycle of the newspaper is heading. Surely, the innovation of the daily paper was in the ability of the printing press to produce massive amounts of content and the operation of a system of distribution that meant every home could have the news at their front door every day before they even opened their eyes. Now, however, the news elves are chugging away on cable and the internet and the concept of the newspaper is not only obsolete but also not very eco friendly.
Still, there is something embedded in my cultural context that connects that Sunday paper to a permission to rest, appreciation of a craft and sustaining an American Tradition.
And in honor of Summer and Snoopy: