Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Times

I have had a Sunday morning paper reading ritual for quite some time. It started in college some 35 years ago when I would get up early and take one of the 6 copies of the NY Times delivered to my dorm (called a house in my women's college) up to my bedroom to read in luxurious privacy before breakfast was available. I would look for Ninas in Hirschfeld and read the wedding announcements to see where people had gone to college. Then I would settle into the book review section and eventually the front page and the week in review. I would have the bulk of the paper read early enough to return the paper for the others in my house who led normal lives and slept in on Sundays.

These days I still get up early on Sunday. This morning I woke up at 6 a.m. and after the ritual reading of the blackberry and feeding of the animals, I went outside to get the 2 of 3 newspapers I have delivered to my house every day. The NY Times and our local local paper were waiting for me but as usual the LA Times delivery person sleeps in late on Sunday so that came later at about 7:15. I go through a sorting ritual reminiscent of JK Rowling, tossing the ads, USA Weekend type mags and articles about fashion into one pile and that which I will read, including my beloved comics, into another pile. So far I am alone and since I know that after the sports page my husband will snag the NYT book review, I read that first.

Some observations on today's paper:

1. They delivered with the NYTimes today the Super Lawyers of So Cal magazine--that popularity contest that this year decided to announce that no one had paid to be listed even though most of us believe that people do pay to be listed. Not to take away from some of the excellent lawyers listed therein, including my husband, I have to believe that for most entries if not a direct payment to the publisher of the magazine, the listed lawyers have a publicity machine that makes them visible and thus worthy of inclusion. I am not in the magazine and never have been except in a picture with my husband so you can take these sentiments for whatever they may be.

2. The NYT book review covered The Inheritance by David Sanger, a book my husband is currently reading and loving. The review was so-so suggesting that the thesis of the book is correct (change can only take place around the edges with each new president because of what he inherits from prior administrations) but the details are suspect particularly one involving the length of the Iraq war compared to other wars in which the US has been involved. I hope to read the book when hubby finishes but there are so many books in my queue right now that it is hard to get to new ones.

3. I see that Ann Coulter's new book is number 2 on the best seller list for nonfiction hardcover books. WHY?! I understand from one of my friends that people like opinionated people but why do people like mean spirited simplistic opinionated people?

4. Afghanistan and Pakistan are certainly all the rage now. The NYT had a front page article about Richard Holbrooke who we were discussing at dinner last night with a friend from the State Dept. I hope to write separately about Afpak. But this article and the article yesterday about Biden speaking out about Russia lead me to ask--WHERE IS HILLARY?

5. The LATimes had an article about a human rights lawsuit in SF by Nigerians against Chevron which the Nigerian villagers lost. Chevron is seeking attorneys' fees of approximately 1/2 million dollars. The Nigerians sued based on shootings of protesters by soldiers at a Chevron oil rig off the coast of Nigeria in 1998. The article seemed to me to make Chevron look bad, citing in an early paragraph that Chevron posted a "record $23.8-billion profit for 2008." Again, maybe I am biased since my husband was involved on the plaintiffs' side of the case although not at the trial.

I have not yet read the NYT Sunday Styles section since I do follow the weddings as avidly as I did in my younger years. Obviously that section has changed dramatically since the early '70s with the inclusion now of couple pictures and notices of same gender marriages. That is not why I am no longer as interested --just to be clear.

As I read about the problems print papers have--LATimes bankruptcy and financial problems at the NYT--I hope that they do not become extinct. I love the internet but please let me have my Sunday sorting ritual and the comfort of newsprint on my hands.

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