Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Slip is Showing

A few months ago, Nancy and I inherited a year's worth of Reader's Digests. Now, I hate to bad-mouth the folks in Pleasantville - two of Russ' cartoons appeared in the issues we received - but judging from the sampling we have, this is certainly not my father's, or mother's or Uncle Jim's Reader's Digest. For one thing, the "Toward More Picturesque Speech" feature has been discontinued and is sorely missed. And while all the humor features and fillers are still there, there seems to be a greater reliance on stupid-people humor.

Now, I laugh at stupid people as much as the next guy, but there is always the danger when you point out the intellectual deficits of others that your own slip might be showing (another late, lamented Reader's Digest feature). So it is that page 25 of the November 2009 issue popped right out at me.

Under the headline "5 Tips to Make Life Easier," I discovered the following:

The first suggestion was to stay away from the Internet for a while, which can be done, if you're a Mac user, by going to The second suggestion was to read up on common legal problems by going to The third was to learn about the classics of literature without actually reading them by going to Then, to reduce the clutter in your home and office, you can throw out the phone books by accessing And finally, vacation planning is a breeze when you go to But remember, before you do any of these things, the first step toward a simpler life is staying away from the Internet.

I'm being picky, I know. But if "Toward More Picturesque Speech" hadn't been discontinued, I would have read it instead.

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