A Pocket of Resistance: Reading the Newspaper

As we get older, Maureen and i are finding comfort in establishing routines that please us.

One such routine(on days i’m not leaving early for golf), is breakfast. i get up early, put on the coffee, set the breakfast table, retrieve the newspaper (The San Diego Union-Tribune)) from the driveway, perform my morning stretches and exercises, check the computer for breaking Facebook posts or responses, email, news, sports, and weather, and maybe write a bit. Maureen wakes up, makes the bed, does her morning beauty thing, and prepares breakfast, normally some egg concoction beyond the simple eggs over easy, perhaps some Tennessee Pride country sausage for me and bacon for her, and fruit, always two to four different kinds of fruit.

She listens to the television news (sic) while working on the breakfast and records it to watch later so i won’t get upset with how much it’s slanted or really non-news. On days i remember, i put on some music when she calls me to the table. We sit down in the breakfast room niche, check to see if we have hummingbirds feeding on the lavender or sage outside the window, and start eating with the two cats looking on hopefully but vainly.

As we eat, we read the paper. i check the headlines in the national, local, and business sections, noting anything i might wish to read in depth later. Then she basically reads all of those sections while i spend most of my time reading the sports section and the comics.

And every breakfast, i think about such routines fading from our daily patterns. I have never seen either of my two daughters with a newspaper. All but a few major dailies are in trouble with decreasing circulation. Most local papers are owned by corporations which detract from potentially great coverage to cut costs.

My parents read the newspaper, but never in the morning. We ate breakfast together preceded by “grace,” and then scattered to our various jobs and schools. The newspaper was an afternoon read. For as long as our home was at 127 Castle Heights Avenue, The Nashville Banner came every afternoon until it sadly defuncted (my word) in 1998. i didn’t really understand that the morning paper, The Nashville Tennessean, had a liberal slant and the afternoon paper had a conservative slant until i was in college. In truth, i only read Fred Russell’s column “Sidelines,” devoured the sports pages, and read the comics even then, and hardly read the news sections until later in high school.

As Maureen and i read, she occasionally gasps, cries “Oh no!” or otherwise expresses dismay. i laugh and marvel at athletic accomplishments (i hardly ever read the financial-focused sports articles or the “courts and sports” news). i like to start out my day upbeat, not dismayed and despondent: hence, only sports and comics in at breakfast.

Occasionally,  i marvel at stupidity. My marveling occurred twice yesterday morning. The “U-T” had a front sports page article following up on an earlier feature. Bryce Miller, a newcomer to the sports department since The Los Angeles Times Syndicate bought the San Diego paper, had written about a University of San Diego volleyball player.

Lisa Kramer is an All-American at the sport. She was interviewing for a job at Lululemon, an athletic apparel retailer, in Fashion Valley, hoping to gain some income while a fifth-year senior. A woman yelled, “Does anyone know CPR?” while holding a limp young three or four year old girl who was not breathing in her arms. Lisa immediately responded, conducted CPR, and got the girl breathing again. She continued aid until paramedics arrived.

Yesterday, Miller reported Lululemon did not hire Kramer, telling her they were “going in a different direction.” Stupid bureaucracy is alive and well in the retail world. i for one also am going in a different direction. And my direction will never lead to Lululemon.

Then, in yesterday’s daily sports feature “Off the Wall,” the reporter Boyce Garrison informed me about head dresses at Florida State. You see, the student government has asked the college administrators to make wearing “Native American” head dresses to sports events a violation of the student code of conduct. It seems the head dresses being worn were not representative of the Seminole tribe, but other tribes.

Now, that’s stupid. Why would students wear head dresses if they weren’t part of their mascot’s culture? For that matter, why would anyone be so rude to wear such headgear, which would have to interfere with folks behind them seeing the game. Oh, i know: they thought they might get on ESPN for a couple of seconds. Stupid.

i may just have to limit my part of our morning routine to the comics.

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