express an opinion

posted by tom / September 28, 2005 /

What's up, Express? I know and like people who work for you, so I'll try to spare you the worst of my righteous internet fury. But you've gotta step your game up.

First: why are there no copies of you at the Mt Vernon Square Metro? All that's in the designated box are a few old copies of El Tiempo Latino. That's not going to do it — I'm already bad enough at the crossword. I emailed you about this, and for a couple of days the problem was fixed. But no longer. I demand free entertainment, dammit!

Second: what's up with the bloglog? This daily ticket to the narcissism lottery (top prize: egomania) is one of the most compelling features you've got. I just think a little more care in selecting the featured excerpts might be good. At the moment we're on a brisk trot toward complete incoherence — I'd estimate about two weeks until an "OMFG!!!" sneaks in. Why not feature some of the big names? They got that way for a reason. It's not like most of your readers will know who, say, Kevin Drum is. Spotlighting the little guy is a nice idea, but not when the little guy is a complete dope.

On the other hand, if this is a subtle tactic by print journalists to defuse the threat they perceive from new media by revealing bloggers to be superficial illiterates... well, good job, then. Carry on.

Finally: the comics. I know the comics in your big brother paper are also terrible. But I truly believe that it doesn't have to be this way. There must be good comics out there. Or maybe you could continue courting your net-savvy twentysomething demo (hi!) and run some webcomics. It's hard to see what the downside would be — today's edition featured a comic that, in addition to having a hilariously unoriginal "he went to a hypnotist and now he thinks he's an animal!" gag, was really badly pixellated. Probably just a print error, I know. Resolving the Quark problems won't make it any funnier, though. It's not your fault, but you can do something about it. Unlike the Post, you can ditch the Garfield and Blondie equivalents in your pages without crotchety geriatrics leaving angry voicemails for Mr. Bradlee. You have the power. Self-actualize! Or something!

Comments

Hi Express,

While endorsing Tom's list of grievances in general, let me quickly note that there is a not-insignificant bloc of treasured twentysomethings that does not appreciate Penny Arcade, and will only be irritated to see it emerge in yet another forum. To be clear: there has never been an actually funny Penny Arcade strip, in the same sense that there has never been a funny Mother Goose and Grimm. Not quite Beatle Bailey negative-funny—just not funny at all. I'm only saying so should the conversation turn in that direction.

Yours,
Kriston

P.S. Thanks for putting me in the bloglog that one time.

Posted by: Kriston on September 28, 2005 11:34 AM

What?! Heresy! I submit to you the latest strip. Okay, not hilarious, but the closing line about the snakes is good.

I wasn't really thinking of Penny Arcade, though. Too niche. Too much profanity. I'd like to see Bobbins (John A of ScaryGoRound's old strip) reprinted -- there's one idea.

But the best suggestion I could make would be to put explodingdog in the paper. It would be a total departure for the comics page, it'd reprint pretty well, and it's frequently in the right format for a single-panel comic. It's not always funny, but that's not exactly a departure from the status quo.

The Examiner should do a Liberality serial, of course.

Posted by: tom on September 28, 2005 11:44 AM

I like that "Bizarro" is included, since it doesn't run in the actual Post. I'm also a fan of Pearls Before Swine.

Posted by: The Red Line on September 28, 2005 12:03 PM

As Fred Durst might say, I think we can all be all in agreeance that there are not enough copies of express in those boxes. When I get to my bus stop on 16th and Harvard, the box is almost always empty. Sure if I get there before 8:30 there's usually a copy or two, but that would require me getting to work on time. I love you, e, but not that much.

Posted by: chrisafer on September 28, 2005 01:26 PM

Hey, at the U Street Metro, you can't even get the Post itself.

Posted by: Kriston on September 28, 2005 01:38 PM

I'm not even a gamer and I like Penny Arcade.

Posted by: ben wolfson on September 28, 2005 09:35 PM

Well said.

So true.

Thanks to RCR for the reference.

Posted by: Jinxy on September 29, 2005 03:22 AM

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