Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.
When I was still living in my humble little Central Wisconsin college town, in the first half of the nineteen-nineties, my favorite record store (which, it should be noted, is still my favorite record store), stocked print copies of Village Voice among its outlay of music magazines. Its newsprint meatiness was recognizable from the weekly alternative paper that I routinely picked up when I was a high schooler in Madison, Wisconsin, but it was mapping out a whole different cultural and political world. I bought Village Voice when I could, marveling at the wonders of New York City from a distance.
It’s been ages since I held a print copy, but I imagine it’s shrunk down the way that all newspapers have. Today’s news that the venerable publication isn’t all that surprising, but it’s heartbreaking, heralding an occurrence that somehow feels even more significant than the end of an era.
In a fantastic New Yorker piece on the rise and influence of Village Voice, journalist I.F. Stone is quoted in reference to the haphazard distribution scheme in the early days of the newspaper. “I’d like to read you, but I can’t find you,” he told one of the Voice columnists. Sadly, that sentiment is about to become even more true.
Also, it’s about to become much tougher to hunt liberals.
Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.