Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 18, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 18, 1997

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Community News Pahrump Valley Gazette, tnut,,:, _..,. _ 18, 1997 23 Tabloids and super ma]rl00et censorship What's a tabloid? You're holding one in your hand. Webster tells us that a tabloid is a newspaper that is about half the size of an ordinary newspaper and contains news in condensed form and much photographic matter. All of which is very nice, but we all know that the tabloids that have been much in the news lately are a bit more sensational than the usual urban journal. Perhaps it would be better to refer to the tabloids of which we will be writing as, "checkout gazettes." I'm buying the weekly groceries at my favorite market (Stater Brothers, in Barstow) when I look to my check out library and find that all the good tabloids are gone. Not there. Disappeared. Even "People" magazine is gone. Grocery shopping without a glance at the checkout gazettes is a mighty 1loomy chore. A glimmer of paranoia blossoms and I think that maybe the magazines and tabloids aren't just sold out, but that maybe they've been kept from me. This is a very naughty thought. I park the basket and go looking for the manager. The manager is embarrassed. "A directive from the head office," he mutters. "Wasn't my decision," he explains. "We didn't want to offend anybody," he whines. I gently explain that I don't like store management deciding what I might read and not read. Furthermore, I am very much offended when someone sets out to censor my reading material. Across town, at Von's Market, the tabloids are displayed in all their royal blither. It looks like Jaqueline Kennedy all over again. Hardly a flying saucer story in the bunch. I take a minute to congratulate the manager on his decision to leave the checkout gazettes on the stands. He seems to agree with me that a person's reading material should be the personal choice of the reader. Whether the checkout gazettes are of high literary value or not, is of no consequence. They are a finn part of the American publishing scene and ought to be left alone to succeed or fail as they might. Personally, I've enjoyed their silliness for years. They have always been a part of late night boredom at an all night laundramat. In fact, there are times and places that are just made for the colorful bearers of sensational silliness. Late nights at the Billie Mine sharing a cup with the electrical foreman and reading months old tabloids. Fascinat- ing stuff all about real famous people of whom we've never heard. Old Bob MacIntyre looked up at me after reading one exciting story and said, "Mike, I've been reading all about Around Amargosa with Andrea by Andrea Lynn these rich people. Sounds like a great life. I'd give a hundred bucks to be one of them millionaires." What may be unknown to medical science is that the tabloids will cure flu and the common cold. Usually, as I lay dying and snivelling in my bed of illness, I ask my wife to go to town and buy a copy of each of the tabloids at the check out In The Thermometer's Shadow by Mike Dougherty stand. That's a bunch of death bed reading. In fact, before all of the pa- pers have been read, the illness will have passed and good health will once again prevail. The tabloids will cure! Back in the early 1980s, while living at Zzyzx, I was taking a Greyhound to town to buy Shirley a car, (OK a pickup - for you who remember, it was the red Datsun). On the bus, I met the Union Pacific foreman from Kelso. He too was off to the city on the mighty. Greyhound. When we stopped at the station in Barstow, we each loaded up on tabloids to fill the empty travelling hours. Back on the bus, we spread out our papers and prepared for a hundred miles of literary gluttony. A young airman leaned over the back of our seats and made some disparaging remarks about our choice of reading mate- rial. The foreman managed to keep a straight face as I asked the young military man what sort of periodicals he might read. The snooty young fellow told me that he read the "Christian Science Monitor" and the "Wall Street Journal." My good- ness, I was impressed. Neither paper has a comic page so I don't much read them. I looked at the young uniformed airman and acknowl- edged that his papers didn't carry all of the news and one could only be well and truly informed by reading lurid tabloids like we had in front of us. I went on to read him a few pertinent and interesting headlines. "400 pound bearded woman raped by space alien." "Elvis not dead reveals Tibetin mystic." "Potato found in convent cellar in exact image ofSpiro Agnew." Several other headlines dealt with the Loc Ness Monster, a September is, and has been, a very busy month. The Amargosa Valley Improvement Association had their first fund-raiser in a while. Blast from the Past with food, games, and a dance. School schedules and sports arrangements have been smoothed out and it looks to be another great year. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary had their annual district meeting Saturday, Sept. 13 with over 85 people present. Coming up is the bloodrive, Tuesday September 23 beginning at 2 p.m. The vampires will be sucking blood until 8 p.m., so try and make it down to the Community Center sometime on Tuesday. Usually, you get a little squeeze thing as a souvenir. Calendar of events. SEPTEMBER Thursday, September 25: Town Board meeting, 6 p.m., Community Center. OCTOBER Wednesday, October 1: People for the West meeting, 7:30 p.m., Community Center Auction Every 1st and 5rd Saturday of each month 00Zue 00giamon00 00Nu.er V Cactus - Cactus Largest Selection in Nevada Desert Plants- Succulents Lots of native Nevada plants including: Red Barrels, Cholla, Yucca, Mound Cactus, Clariet Teddy Bear, Beaver Trail, Prickly Pear, Saguaro Golden Barrels, Organ pipe, Desert Willow Blue Pale Verde, Ocotillo, Mexican Fence Post and Extremely Nice Nevada Joshua Trees Free Cactus Say you saw it in the Gazette, limit of one. Open: 9 am ~ 5 pm Daily, Sun 10 am ~ 5 pm 12740 Blue Diamond Road 1/2 Mile off 160 W. on Blue Diamond Rd. (Hwy 159) $mo1 Ra (702) 875-1968 Fax (702) 875-1913 . J 159 " BI  J two headed calf, and a boy born with a tail. Really great stuff. The poor foreman nearly had a stroke trying not to laugh and the young man of fine taste just figured me for an unrecon- structed bumpkin and went on about his business. He was probably holding a "Christian Science Monitor" over aDonald Duck comic book. The checkout gazettes. A fun, pithy, slightly scandalous bit of fluff to read while in line at the market. It is also very much a bit of the right of freedom of the press that we all enjoy. Whether I care to buy the small tabloids or not, I want no infringement on my choice of what I read. What possible arrogance could motivate a consortium of potato salesmen to feel that they much control what I read. Anyhow, Von's kept the faith. I didn't buy a paper because I usually don't. But a very important right was reserved to a citizen as well it might be and should be. To keep all of this in perspective: I believe that it was Abbott Liebling, writing in the "New Yorker" in May of 1960 that said, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." Commercial Residential Seal Grout Carpet Cleaning Claan -up & Windows and claaning more .... 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