Friday, June 6, 2014


Friday's paper arrived today as Thursday's had before it. But Friday is the day, in the local paper, that a magazine pull-out has articles about various events and arts available over the weekend. Usually, as well, it contains a one-page "ID" feature ... a picture of some person who, in the surrounding copy, answers questions like "where were you born," "who lives under the same roof with you," "what's your favorite book/movie/TV series/sports team," "pets," "profession," "biggest mistake you ever made," "best advice you ever got," "what gives you the creeps," and some parting bit of wisdom.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I always read the "ID" page. It's unpretentious, even when the pretensions shine through. It has an ordinary feel to it, even when the person sounds duller than dish water. It's like doing a crossword puzzle in which I am left to fill in around the brief answers and create a perhaps-false-but-nonetheless-enjoyable persona. More often than not, it's not as confining as an article about someone who builds houses or plays guitar or gardens or writes poetry. It's just a more or less blank canvas on which anything might be painted.

And I get cranky when, as today, the "ID" column is replaced by some more substantive money-maker. I miss the diaphanous clothing that any person might don when there was nothing special to say. It's as if the person were almost-but-not-quite naked ... just like the rest of us. True, it doesn't dig down into profound joy or dismal sorrow but it's a quick sketch of how a person gets by in life ... pretty ordinary stuff. The rest of the paper may cry out with one bit of importance or another, but "ID" seems to specialize in the unimportant ... which, when push comes to shove, is pretty important.

I guess my bias is often, if not always, angled towards people. Everything boils down to people, so it is nice to stop dithering about how to confine those people in what they do or think or say. What are things like when the fireworks stop going off and all that's left is a fascinating night sky?

I really can't nail down why I like "ID," but I know I like it, however confused my portrayal of "why."

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