Bulletin Board, excerpt


Posted to (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, May 25, 2003

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Poet X of PDX:

"(1) There are various reasons for books to be memorable. I'll remember reading 'Atlas Shrugged,' by Ayn Rand, for two unusual reasons.

"First, it's taken me a year to read it, longer than I've ever spent reading a book. (It's 1,000-plus pages in the small-print paperback I bought used, lost, and bought an exact replacement of to finish).

"Of course, I was reading other books during the year (a lot of them, in fact). It's not a great reading habit, but it makes sense when reading a work of 'Atlas Shrugged' length and weight.

"Second, I had no need for glasses when I started it, but am now getting pretty used to having to grab for those danged artificial appendages in order to do something I've been doing for 40 years: reading the fine print.

"It's only my opinion, of course, but I'll throw it out there to stir up some dispute among those who know the book: If you'd like to read this classic, you can skip the last third of the book. The first two-thirds are great, meticulous writing. The last third is as meticulous and demanding but is a strange turn, not to reveal too much.

"(2) Only a Baby-Boomer/TV Junkie would notice: I noticed it years and years (and years) ago, whenever CBS first began airing a late-night talk-show alternative to NBC. When the guests of one show are being announced on one channel, the other channel is doing the same thing. I know the reason is 'audience retention,' but I'm curious about the behind-the-scenes machinations needed for this to occur. It's as reliable as Greenwich Mean Time!

"For the past couple years, I/we have lived in a two-TV-set living room (it's a great solution in homes where there may be power issues over the remote) and occasionally watch both at once. I'm still wondering what happened a few weeks back when, locally at least, NBC's guest list was shown a full minute behind CBS's. I half expected an earthquake or similar event!

"The incident hasn't happened again since. I suppose someone got fired!"

2003 Bulletin Board Loop

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