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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The newspaper funnies

The demise of newspapers may impact a part of pop culture not thought of. Mort Sahl was famous for using a newspaper as a prop in his stand-up act that relied on topical political humor. Late night talk show monologue writers fill time with reference to news items. Blogs and online newspapers just don’t have the same feel. Here’s two examples from today’s L.A. Times that I read while sitting on the john.

Front page of the “LATE EXTRA’ section, underneath a provocative headline: “Woman’s body found in hotel’s water tank.” 

The body (of the article, not the woman) reports that residents of the Cecil, a rather seedy skid row downtown L.A. hotel, had been complaining of low water pressure. A check of the water tank turned up the decomposing body of a 21 year old visitor from Canada, who has been missing since mid-January. 

The hotel had been notorious as a haunt of Richard Ramirez, serial killer of the 1990's. Even since its renovation it has been a source of police calls for occasional violence of the domestic and drug induced varieties. 

Other elements of a t.v. cop show plot are introduced. 

A surveillance camera in an elevator showed the woman frantically pushing buttons and waving her arms, then she disappears. 

And “a locked door equipped with an alarm that only employees have access to and a fire escape are the only ways to get to the roof.

Here’s the funny part: “‘We’re not ruling out foul play,’ said LAPD spokesman Sgt. Rudy Lopez, noting that the location of the remains ‘makes it suspicious.’” [!!!

To Jimmy Kimmel, et al., I submit a second article for your consideration. 

“A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit by female prisoners in California prisons for violating their rights by refusing to hire a Wiccan chaplain. . .  Wicca is a pagan religion that involves witchcraft.”

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