Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Paper Chase

I go religiously each Sunday morning to the local gas station to pick up a paper. I'd subscribe to the Rockdale Citizen, but for some reason the budget never comes available for it. So I actually spend more getting it at the gas station then having it delivered, but...anyway...

We live in a time when the papers are drastically diminishing in sales and readers, and what with electronic media and all, it's easy to see why. It's all stored and presented easily on your computer, or iphone, or e-reader. And unless you have a parrot, or an 80 year old relative that has to do the crossword every day, it's just not necessary. But I do think there's one exception for this--the local paper. There are very few places where you can keep up with the goings on of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners, or find out what's happening with town events, the local little league club, get the local sales papers for the grocery stores, and find out how much the 1990's Honda's are going for and at least dream. Sure, you can find some of this out online, but there is no revenue from this, except advertisers. So I think it is important to do business with local papers because they are one of the most important avenues of communication between the local governments and the people. For state or Federal, we can always go get brainwashed by whatever 24/7 news network you want to listen to. But for what really matters, the local stuff, it's the 10 page papers that are tossed at houses at 6 in the morning that delivers that news.

So I pick up copies of the Rockdale Citizen (and you might get the Rockdale News as well, and even though they only publish twice a week, it's all in color and is all in digest form, all about the local area.) at the gas station and then wait in line for 10 minutes while everyone in front of me fills out lottery tickets and buys and scratches instant games to hopefully win a boatload of money. All the while, the lottery contestants are bragging about how they, or someone they know, won $100, or maybe more, right there in that station. And it is a victory, even though they might have spent $200 doing it. And they pay for their tickets with wads of paper cash and walk out, hoping that they didn't just buy useless paper with their paper.

I guess it's just one of those things I don't get. Are there people that win millions of dollars on these lottery numbers? Of course. And the government would love for them to keep on buying those tickets, because a large amount of it goes toward the running of school systems, etc... The lottery is a very small part of the Huxleyian model of governing, through happiness, and this is a blog I'll wait until later to write. I would much rather buy the local paper, with their job ads enclosed, and see what money I could make by actually doing something, rather than hope that a million to one odds that I might win that million through the luck of numbers.

And what if these contestants are buying those lottery tickets with the money they're getting from Unemployment benefits from the government? It's just going around in a vicious cycle, with the losers being the taxpayers and the people buying the ultimately useless papers. So I'll pay for my Rockdale Citizen, go home, and skip the part where I pursue paper money that is a mere shadow, a dream, of ever coming my way, and I'll see what events are happening in my town that I might go to. Actually do something with my time and life, instead of endlessly chasing papers.

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