Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trend setter

Saturday I wrote a post mentioning how much I hate the The Economist magazine. Then Sunday the New York Times ran an article about how The Economist markets itself as a thinking person's guide to the world, and tries to cultivate the impression that only wise, sophisticated people read that magazine. Yeah, as if! I don't think they've had Bristol Palin on the cover even once. That's cultural irrelevance for you, right there.

Apparently the Economist tries to market itself as a status symbol for people who are smarter than the rest of us, with more important jobs. Yuck. By the way, I know for a fact that the guy who lives a block away whose Economist gets misdelivered to us got laid off. I'm sure The Economist is at a minimum cutting off his subscription, and possibly making a midnight raid to confiscate his back issues.

But the point I wanted to make is this: The New York Times is following in my footsteps. Once I write about The Economist, everyone wants to write about it.  Such is the power of The Potato. If I'm doing it, it must be cool. Look for these other activities of mine to soon turn into fads sweeping the nation: eating all the popsicles after the kids go to bed, having trouble spelling the word "convenient," and not combing your hair because nobody can tell the difference anyway.

After my last post I googled "Ranger Rick" to see if the wildlife magazine I remember from my childhood is still around. It is, but Google also turned up a fellow who refers to himself as "Army Ranger Rick" who teaches outdoor survival techniques....in Italy. I'm having trouble imagining what kind of situation would demand survival techniques in Italy -- your orzo is cooked too al dente? His website includes instructions for a homemade weapon called the "back-country death star."  I bet he uses it to spear ravioli. 

Army Ranger Rick teaches outdoor survival classes. For lunch, part of the training is that you have to forage for and cook your own food. You are provided the bare essentials, as shown in this photo from Rick's website.



Yes, only four hot dogs and two bags of chips. It may seem cruel, but it's the only way the students are going to learn to survive in the wild.

This Army Ranger Rick fellow is fairly creepy and likely delusional. A little scary, and best kept at a distance. I know what you're thinking, and I think you're right: I'd bet my bottom dollar he reads The Economist.

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