Friday, December 23, 2005

Who will step up now that the Red Streak is gone?

Today's the first day of the rest of your life. Unless, of course, if you were a Red Streak columnist, since you're out of a job today and you might as well commit suicide because nobody else in their right mind will ever hire you. Much has been made of the demise of the Sun-Times' version of the Red Eye, which is the Tribune's version of a fresh piece of dog shit on your front lawn that you accidentally step on as you walk to your car, with the smell lingering for the rest of the day wherever you go.

To be quite honest, though, I don't mind the Red papers all that much. I actually like seeing people read, and I don't really care what they're reading. This probably has something to do with my day job, which is Professional Letter Designer. That's right, a group of highly trained English majors and I sit around an office all day and try to create the 27th letter in the English alphabet. It's not easy, and I'm not allowed to give you information on our status, but it is important to us that people keep reading, even if that reading material consists mostly of celebrity anecdotes and cleavage shots.

While the Red Streak will be missed, there's always someone new to step up and capture the imagination and advertising money of the Chicago market. Go to any bar in any hipster neighborhood and you'll see plenty of free newspapers and magazines by the door. It was always my intention to start one of these newspapers, but I've always chickened out, mostly because I can't imagine anyone paying to advertise in a magazine written by me.

To see how it's done, though, I turn to the "inaugural issue!" of the newest contender in the who-can-make-the-biggest-pile-of-trash-at-the-doorway wars: The Real Chicago. I picked up Volume 1, Issue 1 yesterday and read with interest the publisher's comments. "Trust me, it'll be different than the other periodicals out there," he writes. "For starters, it will be a publication that you'll actually want to read for its content instead of just flipping through ..."

I'm curious, so I flip through the magazine that promises to uncover "the pulse of the city that so few of us really know very much about." Page 6 is devoted to the bar of the month. This month's bar? Kincade's, a Kansas frat boy hangout on Armitage with 45 plasma TVs. I learn that the Kincade's experience goes like this: "Never a shortage of waitresses, it seems, and they visit your table often."

I'm impressed, and of course I wonder just who would advertise in a cutting-edge periodical such as this. Well, don't know how I missed this in my initial flip-through, but the full-page ad on page 2 is for none other than Kincade's. Wow, I guess I have a lot to learn about the real Chicago.


Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

While I applaud the fact you enjoy seeing people reading something, I find it hard to believe that there is much of anything intelligent in these red eyes. It's tabloid news plain and simple with a spot national headline mixed in.

I remember as a kid going to England for the summer and trying to catch up on world news and all the newspapers except one were tabloids and that's all everyone was buying. It's finally happening here in the Chicago Newspaper market... Even the Chicago Tribune is trying to jump in on this crap journalism by running a weekly column in the tempo section called "we read the tabloids so you don't have to" running articles from the Star, Enquirer, US weekly, etc...Who honestly gives a crap what designer created Elton John's wedding suit/dress?

And people wonder why politicians run one issue campaigns...the majority of people aren't smart enough to know the issues because they don't read about it..

For example while you may agree or disagree on this hot and quickly becoming important many people know what "Intelligent Design" is all about vs the name of Paris Hilton's dog?

Merry Christmas!!!!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paris Hilton's dog's name is Intelligent Design, isn't it? I wouldn't know, I don't read the Red Eye, but maybe I would if they had a page 2 girl.
--Read Eye

10:40 AM  
Anonymous jenska said...

But the Red Eye is free now! That means FREE sudoku every day!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous art attack said...

Mr. Molitor - you have high ideals but in reality, you love the trashy "news" as much as the next guy. Would you buy just a sports section paper for a quarter? It could look just like the redeye but have guys in tight pants bent over instead of Jen Aniston and I am certain you would eat it up. Isn't that the same thing? They should give away the free Red Eye for the ladies and a Red Jock for the boys with all sports they could ever wish for. Who cares about corrupt politicians, failing schools, global warming as long as the White Sox and Wolves are winning

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Molitor said...

Art Attack- I believe entertainment news (sports included) is a good distraction from the harsh realities of real life. However my point is that people should spend the time to keep current on important issues. The Red Eye does not serve that purpose.
I do like the Red Jock concepts(didn't I come up with that?) Maybe the Red Eye could buy all those soon to be empty Red Streak boxes and start the Red Jock which would be the just the Tribune's Sports section.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of Red Jock, they should call it the Tighty Whitey

11:24 PM  

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