The USA Today is like comfort food to me.
It makes me feel warm and snug and protected. I’m not sure why. I associate it with airports and hotels and Starbuck’s, and while I have no great love for any of those things (unless, of course, the hotel comes with a fantastic complimentary breakfast, y’know, where it’s not just cold cereal and a plastic wrapped Danish, but eggs, bagels, bacon, fruit, waffles, etc.), they make me feel all is right – or at any rate, predictable – in the world.
So what is it about the USA Today? I mean, besides headlines like “Stripping Naked For Different Causes Attracts Attention Around The World?”
Trying to gain insight into myself, I looked carefully at the Tuesday, October 2nd “State-By-State” section of the paper, and had an epiphany: I love the jarring mix of the frivolous, the touching, the mundane and the heavy, boiled down into mini paragraphs.
We learn, for example, that in Hawaii, “The U.S. Navy says it has awarded a contract worth up to $85 million over five years to AECOM Technical Services…” Hmm…. wonder if Cheney and Halliburton are getting a cut?
In Nebraska, we hear that “A farmer being treated for lung cancer said he was amazed at the nearly 100 people who gathered to harvest his soybean crop.” Okay: lump in my throat.
In North Carolina, “Hearings are set this week to determine whether three inmates can have their death sentences reduced to life in prison under the Racial Justice Act, which allows appeals if it’s proved that racial bias was a factor in their sentencing.” Racism in the South? Wha—nooo!!??
In Missouri, Cape Girardeau city officials are “considering a law requiring helmets for scooter riders,” while in South Dakota, “Attendance at this year’s State Fair increased for the sixth year in a row.” Did you hear that, people?! Six years in a row. Is South Dakota on a white hot streak or what?! Hot damn!
The USA Today: better than Prozac, and cheaper than a massage.