Wednesday, November 05, 2003

First Past the Post

The Review & Books section has returned to the National Post! It seems that hiding the Review at the end of Section-A and condemning book reviews to the rump of the Travel section (?!?) wasn’t working. I want to make it clear that I fully support this decision, but I continue to be frustrated that innovation at the Post comes under the guise of restoring successful sections of the paper that were cut during the great purge, as opposed to creating new ones. Come to think of it, it’s like a neo-con government that cuts public services so harshly that it’s eventually forced to back-peddle and mend a few gaping holes in the social safety net -- at which point the electorate is supposed to act happy about having what we once took for granted as a standard level of amenity restored. Or, if you want a more literary referent point:

Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure enough, following on a gory description of the annihilation of a Eurasian army, with stupendous figures of killed and prisoners, came the announcement that, as from next week, the chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty grammes to twenty.


For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week

On the subject of the newspaper war, let me be the first (hopefully) to observe that the new commuter daily, 24 Hours, resembles a Home Depot flyer crossed with news tabloid Paris-Match. Good luck with your decision to set fire to your money, Quebecor.