I was recently on a RBG panel struck to select an artist to create a statue to the Garden’s founder Thomas Baker McQuesten, of whom I have written (too frequently, some would suggest). This put me in the company of some very bright people all of whom know more about art than me. I got into a discussion about newspapers with one exceptionally smart woman and we discovered that we both enjoy reading the New York Times, and all the cachet that comes with being associated with perhaps the finest newspaper in the English language. But, hewing to my working class roots, I was also forced to confess that I also enjoy reading scandal sheets like the New York Post and Britain’s Daily Mail. The irreverent Post, I think has the best headline writers in the business. A recent story told of a New York teacher who trashed all the textbooks in her class, saying the kids could get what they need off the internet; except that there are only two computers in the class. Screamed the Post Headline: “BOOK OF MORON.” In another education-related story where a Brooklyn principal censored a student newspaper that was critical of some teachers, the headline read PRINCIPAL: YOU HAVE NO WRITE. The headline about a woman who claims to have been forced into prostitution because the city won’t allow her dog in her subsidized apartment read CITY’S DOG BAN HAS ME DOING PET TRICKS.
It’s not all pun and games with the Post. If you want serious New York local news, especially local politics, it, and the Daily News are by far better choices than the Times, which, as a ‘national’ publication only covers local news of interest to non-New Yorkers. Also the Post’s crime coverage, while lurid to some, is comprehensive. And where else can you keep up with the antics of Madonna, Alec Baldwin and Posh Spice on an almost daily basis? And, like the Toronto Sun, the Post has by far the best sports coverage in the market. There is something quaintly old fashioned about the Murdoch publication. It avoids the trend towards full colour in newspapers, instead only printing colour on the front and back covers. Like many newspapers the Post is no longer profitable, reportedly losing $70 Million in the most recent year; but being part of the Murdoch-owned News Corp with sales of $1.2 Billion and profits of $242 Million, the Post can be a loss leader in the big Apple for a long, time.
No wonder Ryan Gosling was spotted smirking on stage at the Oscars when it was erroneously announced that La La Land in which he starred won Best Picture. After its much awaited release on DVD and Pay TV it become apparent within 10 minutes that it was ridiculous to think this film could be best anything. At the risk of offending thousands I think the critics fell for the film mainly for the nostalgia of seeing the revival of an old-fashioned Hollywood musical. I like musicals, on stage , but to me the film never achieved lift-off. After half an hour I popped in a DVD of “Stand-up Guys” with Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken—the latter, by the way, who can dance better than anybody on screen today.