A happy juxtaposition of topics in print

So, in the doctor’s waiting room we came across a favorite read, the VC Reporter. Every town has a paper like this, free, hip, loud, colorful, opinionated, and filled with ads for questionable services.

Today the VC Reporter reminded us why print is such an important medium.  There’s nothing like opening a paper and looking at two pages of text — of carefully set text — that make you laugh yourself silly. Granted this week’s edition is the comedy issue, but even so, in this case the comedy was unintended.

On the left hand corner was Opinion: Editor’s note: A ticking time bomb — 7 billion and counting. A searing indictment on overpopulation ending with the typeset line

eventually we as a society collapse.

On the opposite page (by an author who lives in Ojai)  Power to Speak: We must not remain silent, a searing indictment on corporate greed, etc, etc,begins with the line

I applaud the young people across America
who are valiantly attempting to take our country
back from the multinational corporate elite that
are corrupting the heart and soul of our country.

Between these two incredibly weighty topics resides a lone column of Letters to the Editor.

Just under a letter at the top titled No one’s forcing you to go, is a letter at the bottom titled (we kid you not)-

I see dog poo, it’s everywhere

I’m staying in Ojai for two weeks, to enjoy walking, hiking and local restaurants.  In comparison to other cities I’ve visited recently, there is DOG CRAP EVERYWHERE!  I’m sorry to report that there are turds on the sidewalks, on walking trails, in business landscaping, and it’s dreadful.  Professional, mobile poop-scooping is urgently needed, in tandem with an aggressive dog-owner education program.  Will the City of Ojai AND responsible dog owners please step up to deal with this public health menace?

Name omitted to protect the author.

Admittedly, not as thrilling as seeing dead people, but one really has to laugh. People in this small rural town (under 8,000 souls) are way more interested in “big global issues” than dog poo. Whereas, this guy from a big global mover-shaker city? His issue is dog poo.  Draw your own conclusion here about who is a rube.

We’re sorry this man’s 2 -week stay in one of our county’s happy, active, interesting hamlets was so blighted by DOG CRAP EVERYWHERE .  But if he can afford to spend $350 – $650 per night, for two weeks, on just his room? And he’s so offended by seeing dog poo everywhere? He has three choices:

  1. Look up — he clearly spends way too much time looking at the ground.
  2. Laugh — and pay someone to walk before you picking the poop up.
  3. Leave — he is clearly not suited to rural life.

All this to say, none of this wonderful entertainment would have been possible on an eReader. They just don’t allow you to see these weird, serendipitous moments that actual printed pages can create. Long Live the Printed Word! And, we will be pooping popping in on the Comedy Festival this weekend, weather permitting! And the dog’s coming too. You were warned.

A final poem for National Poetry Month, Yellow, by Robert Service

Many people today think of Service as a rather shallow poet, but that’s because they haven’t read his body work. He thought about the world and its ways very profoundly. He knew and understood the human experience. There’s not a lot of that in poetry today. Too many poets, like too many artists, are so busy trying to be clever, or chic, or get noticed, they fail to realize, mundane acts and moments of life itself are often heart-breakingly intense.


Robert W. Service


One pearly day in early May I walked upon the sand

And saw, say half a mile away, a man with gun in hand.

A dog was cowering to his will as slow he sought to creep

Upon a dozen ducks so still they seemed to be asleep.


When like a streak the dog dashed out, the ducks flashed up in flight.

The fellow gave a savage shout and cursed with all his might.

Then as I stood somewhat amazed and gazed with eyes agog,

With bitter rage his gun he raised and blazed and shot the dog.


You know how dogs can yelp with pain;its blood soaked in the sand,

And yet it crawled to him again, and tried to lick his hand.

“Forgive me Lord for what I’ve done,” it seemed as if it said,

But once again he raised his gun — this time he shot it dead.


What could I do? What could I say? ‘Twas such a lonely place.

Tongue-tied I watched him stride away, I never saw his face.

I should have bawled the bastard out, a yellow dog he slew.

But worse, he proved beyond a doubt that – I was yellow too.

Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 8:08 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Our favorite off the charts, over the top, why’d you do it, son?, rule-breaking Freshly Pressed post of 2010 has to go to …

Every year we look for a Freshly Pressed post that leaves us gobsmacked.  Because Freshly Pressed posts are  generally the pick of the litter, the one we’re looking for is the runt. Everybody loves the runt, so this isn’t an exercise in cruelty, it’s simply an example of how far off the beaten path can you go and still end up Freshly Pressed.

Now, for those of you wondering about our award . . . it goes to a post appearing the week of Dec 20th. We won’t name the blog, because this is about Freshly Pressed making a wacky choice, but we will tell you this adorable runt . . .

  1. is a photo blog that contains no photos,
  2. has virtually no other posts for the entire year it’s existed,
  3. has no content of any kind,
  4. can’t possibly be followed,
  5. has no tags,
  6. has a 1-word uncompelling headline, and
  7. could be said to feature “bad stuff.”

Our cute little runt was totally fine playing in its own yard. It is, after all, an in-house thank you post made to immediate coworkers and friends. Then someone let the dogs out, and Freshly Pressed it to the general public. Once Pressed, this cute enthusiastic little guy came off as an annoying shameless advertorial for a media site owned by the “blogger.”

The lesson here is anything you write, no matter how seemingly unlikely to be selected, might be Freshly Pressed. So before you hit “publish” ask: Is this really a post for the general public?

If the answer is no, don’t do it. You (and your company) could end up in the dog house, even though the fault was not your playful pup, but that he was set free on Freshly Pressed.

P.S. Runt, is a great read by Marion Dane Bauer (2004), click through to buy a copy for your child, or inner child!

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 7:59 AM  Leave a Comment  
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