This past week, I was forced to wake up considerably earlier than I wanted to, and to operate a motor vehicle at that, but rather than chasing the fantasy that bed might still be warm, I decided to power through the morning. I needed help though, so I stopped into one of my favorite midtown establishments, Otherlands, for a cup of a coffee and a bagel sandwich thing. Typically, I read as much of the Memphis Flyer as I can during the time it takes me to down a cup, inhale a bagel, and smoke a cigarette, folding the rest in half and tucking it under my arm with the idea I might actually finish it later. (Unfortunately, most of those newspapers are in the floor of the backseat of my car...) But instead, I decided to sit and slowly caffeinate, prepare myself for the day, and read the Memphis Flyer cover to cover.
Now, that in itself may not seem too terribly interesting, but perhaps for the simple fact that I had not taken to time to do so in months, sitting at a table by myself in a crowded coffeebar, unshowered and slovenly dressed, sipping on over-sugared coffee and reading articles that ranged from city budget allotments and public education to movie reviews, the sadly ever-shortening News of the Weird column, and the usual subtle yet hilarious jab at the Flyer's more conservative rival, the Commercial Appeal (specifically, its readers who log on to CA.com and spawn threads and threads of racist, ignorant shite) just seemed awesome.
No, nothing was specifically special about my morning (early afternoon to most of the rest of the world), and in relative terms, nothing was very special about that particular issue of the Memphis Flyer. But in an age and a society and a culture where information is limitless in its availability to everyone, where journalists find themselves adapting beautifully written articles into 140 characters for Twitter updates or Blackberry news tickers, it's good to know there are still writers out there that actually use paragraphs and grammar, and still have the venue to exhibit style and nuance. I had forgotten it's importance there for a second being that I have a special tone for my AP Mobile breaking news updates on my fancy iPhone, but it was a big blunder on my part. Especially for someone who likes to tout herself as some kind of writer, too.
So, thank you Memphis Flyer. Thank you for being free, for sticking it out through a recession & decline in paper news media, for giving spotlights to the little guys, and for always having a sense of humor.
Speaking of the little guy! Here are a few write-ups I came across during my slow midtown morning that caught my eye: