philthecow: (hitchcock)
[personal profile] philthecow
Henry Darger much?

I read this article in the Star-Ledger.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have a bias towards local papers. I think people who live in New Jersey but who read the New York Times instead of the New Jersey paper are super-lame. I also think it's super-lame that Swarthmore distributes the New York Times instead of the Philadelphia Inquirer. I don't care if the New York Times is somehow objectively better, there's something to be said for local pride and local community and how it can be embodied through a newspaper.

I feel that by selecting the Times over papers like the Ledger or the Inquirer, you're just branding yourself as a snob for whom holding the "right" newspaper is more important than actually knowing the news that matters for you. If we were talking about the Times v. The Mountain Lakes Citizen, I would feel differently, because the Citizen is terrible, but if we're talking about a good-far-away paper v. a nearly-as-good-local paper, I will judge you for preferring the far-away paper.

(Maybe this opinion is why I chose the underdog-Gazette instead of the all-powerful-Phoenix when I came to Swarthmore. But Gazette 2.0 is on the way, and when it lands, you're all going to be scrambling to get over here...)

OK. The point is, this article is amazing. Amazingly creepy, sure, but amazingly Darger! I want to rip it verbatim and put it in my novel. Which I am still writing.

...that was all I wanted to say. I apologize for the tirade.

Date: 2007-03-18 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it's mostly because the Times is an honestly objectively better newspaper. The writing is several orders of magnitude better than the Inquirer, it has its own international bureau, and I think we have a lot more alum working there. As for the Gazette, I mean, you've got better writing, fact checking, and generally lack of suck that the Phoenix does.

Date: 2007-03-18 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm going to come out here as a New York Times and Washington Post reader over the Philadelphia Inquirer. The latter makes a bit more sense than the former, obviously, me being from the DC Metro area originally and all (and our local newspaper being a hack-job joke). The Times I read mostly because its coverage of Science and International beats, from what (little) comparsion I've done, trumps that of the Inquirer. I guess it's a sad fact that I care so little about Philadelphia, even though I'm a ten-minute train-ride away. From what I've seen so far at Swat, it doesn't seem that the city is much integral to the "Swarthmore experience," whatever the hell that is. Though I could be (and probably am) wrong... "the plural of anecdote is not data," no, Lauren?

Date: 2007-03-18 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As a side-note, I'm a little spooked out by all this "Gazette 2.0" talk. I'm kind-of afraid it's really a code-word for some sort of cybernetic assault development that Myles has been working on, maybe to crash and explode the Phoenix's (very feeble, barely alive at last count) web servers.

Then you'd have a monopoly, wouldn't you? I see your game...

Date: 2007-03-18 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OK, I understand that the Inquirer is worse than the NYT in a lot of ways, particularly in its coverage of international news, and I do agree that the NYT has better writing, I just really believe in local newspapers.

I want to know what the news from Philly is--I find it disturbing that we can live so close to Philadelphia yet be so cut off from it. Not to mention how cut off we are from Swarthmore borough itself.

I guess I'd be happy if both the NYT and the Inquirer were distributed on campus... one for the international news and science and arts and what have you, one because local newspapers are a GOOD THING no matter how crappy they are and the habit of reading them should be ENCOURAGED.

(Gazette 2.0 is actually a code-word for the anthrax we plan to release into your office through vents during a staff meeting... I'll let you know which one it is ahead of time, but shh! ;) )

Date: 2007-03-18 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, you guys should all be reading THE SWARTHMOREAN. My landlord subscribes. It is absurd & lovely in all the ways tiny local newspapers are.

But, seriously-- as a Philadelphian who grew up reading the Inquirer, I mourn its past glory and current suckitude, like a lot of people. I still read it almost every day, though, because I agree with you.

Date: 2007-03-18 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But Gazette 2.0 is on the way, and when it lands, you're all going to be scrambling to get over here...)

It'll be very OH SNAP!! WHAT NOT?! sort of time.

Date: 2007-03-18 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Er, *WHAT NOW?!, I mean.

Date: 2007-03-18 07:53 am (UTC)
ccommack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ccommack
It really depends on the quality of the reporting and the position of the editorial board. While the Star-Ledger and the Asbury Park Press are decent papers, I wouldn't dream of paying money to read the Courier Post. Likewise, on this side of the Delaware, the Delaware County Daily Times isn't worth the paper it's printed on, when it's having a bad day, although the good days are more than tolerable.

I tend to switch off newspapers depending on how widely scoped I want my news; I subscribe to The Economist, I read The New York Times regularly online for national news, I check the Philadelphia Inquirer or the New York Daily News for their respective metro areas' local news, and I occasionally pick up The Swarthmorean when I'm at the Co-op and a headline catches my eye. All of them have their strengths, but my sense of the world I live in would skew badly were I to rely on a single one of these publications.

Date: 2007-03-18 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
big hearts for the ledger!

granted, i'm biased, because my mom works there. did you know that the ledger used to be a really trashy paper? to the point that when my mom was little, it wasn't allowed in her house. then they had an editor who made it "respectabe" and then...

well, i could go on and on but i doubt it's interesting

Date: 2007-03-19 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Times IS my local paper! Ha!

I mostly read it for the Metro section and the obituary profiles, though, and find "real news" tedious.

Date: 2007-03-19 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What fascinating timing - I just finally got the chance to watch the Darger documentary I got fron Netflix today. And speaking of him, the "how DARE the teachers not have these boys put in therapy/expelled/locked up when they're clearly dangerous/insane/borderline murderers???" vibe of the parents in the article and commenting on it does remind me of the argument I've heard that, since Darger depicted violence against naked little girls, he obviously MUST have been a child molester and/or murderer. Why is it so monumentally difficult for people to understand that it's possible to imagine or fantasise about something without actually working towards making it really happen, or even really wanting it to?
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