A month or two ago, I cancelled my Age subscription, for a number of reasons. It all started several years ago when the paper decided to take a new direction and try to take the very less-than-ordinary Herald Sun behemoth head on and go populist. Sports has to appear on the front page every day, regardless. AFL has to be prominent. Coverage of AFL has to be as if football is 'more than a game'. I've got nothing against the AFL or sport in general and am happy for it continue to enjoy massive coverage at the back of the paper. I do like sport (mostly as a participant), but I can't see that any sport deserves front page coverage.
Over time, other subtle changes have crept in, but I don't want to dwell on that. The reality is, the only reason I've hung on to my daily delivery for the last year or so is the Sudoku puzzle. Yes, I'm a Sudoku nut, and the harder the puzzle the better. However, the Melbourne Film Blogger and family typically lunch on a Saturday and/or Sunday at a particular local cafe where (like just about every other cafe in Melbourne) newspapers are provided in ample numbers. So, while we wait for our order, I take the page that none of the others in the throngs that pour in over the weekend seem to care about, and fill in the puzzles myself. Same with weekdays when I go for a coffee at work (I'm not going to drink the instant stuff they provide in the kitchen).
With cafes providing papers (and not forgetting the online version), my only reservation about cancelling my Age subscription was that I might miss out on articles like I saw in the A2 section of yesterday's paper. One about blogging, the other about David Lynch. The first one is a decent post (decent as in long, 3343 words, the Age search feature tells me) by Sophie Cunningham, a contributor to Sarsaparilla, an online magazine that I subscribe (free) to. It was a well-researched and balanced article which discusses the pros and cons of blogging and how writers have found it useful, useless, time-consuming, time-wasting and more. I related to many aspects of it, and it complemented thoughts I've been having as well as the subject of Paul Harris' interview of me on 3RRR a few weeks ago (which I still haven't posted about, but something is in the pipeline).
The other worthy Age article was an interview by by Simon Hattenstone for London's Guardian. It appears to have been written some six months ago, but held off by The Age until now, with MIFF's screening of Inland Empire being imminent (August 7 & 9, followed by a limited release by Dendy sometime toward the end of the year). In it, Lynch dispels some rumours, confirms and sets straight others. As a film-maker who is appreciated as an artist, it's always good to hear from the man himself about his art.