Happy no-longer-new year, everyone. Well, the final weeks of 2007 were pretty much like the whole of 2007 in my house: just before finals week, the sewage line in the basement backed up for the third time in four months, and as they say, the third time was the charm. This one left a good two inches of water in select basement areas, where “select basement areas” means “the corners in which Michael keeps his hockey equipment and his drums.” It’s been great fun cleaning everything and ripping up carpet and throwing out stuff and refurnishing part of the basement, but through it all, I know that the house has said to me and me alone, in an intimate and personal kinda way, “GET. OUT.” Of course, that was before the sheet of ice slid off the roof and knocked out our satellite dish thing. The people from the satellite station promised to send out a satellite dish repair person ASAP, which means in a week or so, because we live in the deep uncharted interior of the continent.
So good riddance to 2007. I hope it never comes back around these parts.
But that’s not why I’m here!
No, I’m here to report that when I brought in the local paper from the front porch this morning, I found that the cover story on this week’s Parade was all about Benazir Bhutto. (Parade, for those of you who don’t get the thing, is the standard Sunday supplement in run-of-the-mill newspapers in the deep interior of my continent.) The cover asks, “Is Benazir Bhutto America’s best hope against al-Qaeda?” This struck me as a somewhat strange question, and not simply because of the recent tendency in these parts to treat Bhutto as Pakistan’s Greatest Democrat Ever. The story itself begins on page six, under the headline “A Wrong Must Be Righted – As Benazir Bhutto seeks a return to power, Tuesday’s election in Pakistan could profoundly affect the fight against terrorism.” Well, I was going to say, I hope you people in other countries will stop complaining about how American news media don’t cover foreign things from far away! But, of course, Parade’s web site is a bit more current:
Editor’s note: The assassination of Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 27 occurred after PARADE’s Jan. 6 issue went to press.
OK, then, the paper went to press more than ten days ago. So now I wonder just what kind of technology the print version of Parade uses. Was someone asleep at the steam-powered linotype machine? Let’s just say that in my house, cut off as we are from the outside world (except for phones and newspapers and internets and the Midnight Bark and tin cans with string), this morning’s Sunday paper was a bit disorienting.