Sunday, May 03, 2009

Weekend Journal

From the Summer of 1991 until sometime in 2002 I read the Wall Street Journal almost every day. I am not really in the business world anymore, and aside from my aspirations to own and manage some investment property I don't see myself doing anything in life that would require me to know the contents of the Journal. But sometime around 1993 or 1994 they began printing a special section on Fridays called "The Weekend Journal". Along with their classic Christmas editorials, the "Weekend Jornal" makes the price of a subscription worthwhile.

Consider the issue of May 2-3: A full page article on the joys of sleeper cars, lasting marriage, champagne, and sunsets that was so good Anselm Samuel, upon my reading it to him, said he wanted to clip out of the paper and save it forever.

Another full page article article on the growth in cook book sales contains these sentences: "Specializing in such life-threatening dishes as deep-fried macaroni and cheese and bread pudding made from Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Ms. Dean is high voltage Dixie kitsch, a cartoon version of the kind of brassy, boozy aunt the other aunts always refer to as a "hoot"" and "Cookbooks like this invite you to fantasize about the kind of life in which instead of picking up a carton of supermarket pasta salad on the way home from work, you trip off to the greenmarket every morning with a string bag, maintain a flourishing herb garden, and are on a first name basis with a goat farmer."

And there are articles on Swine flu and the history of pandemics, Broadway musicals, the Fragonard Panels, and modern classical music. It is just a great newspaper.

All of this writing is available on line now, but I read it to my son, he on the top bunk playing with Legos, I on the bottom bunk with the paper spread out before me, reading aloud like a reader in a cigar factory. Thankfully, unlike other newspapers, the Wall Street Journal is seeing readership increase and will continue to exist, at least for the foreseeable future, in its paper form.

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