After eyeballing the first edition of The Good Life, we can kind of understand why our neighbors might not be inclined to stoop down, retrieve their copies and eagerly rip off the sandwich bags to devour the new section, a reading experience that someone at the Chronicle apparently expects will be so rewarding that the reader will excitedly ring-up the newspaper and DEMAND that his or her home delivery start right away. We suspect that such offerings as “Loving Aspen,” “Parisian Chic” (“It’s springtime in Paris. What fashion looks are ahead?”)* and “Take Comfort in Creole” (the “cuisine,” not the people, that is) won’t have much appeal in our neighborhood, particularly on its northern reaches, a resolutely working-class area where few vacation in Aspen, vehicles sometimes rest on blocks and many adult residents have difficulty speaking English, much less reading it. (Is there no Spanish-language La Buena Vida? ¿Por qué?)
We don’t claim to understand today’s newspaper biz, a business that we devoted a considerable expanse of our relatively worthless life to, but perhaps we never did. We do know that such flailing-away projects as The Good Life leave us feeling a little embarrassed for our former line of work, the way we sometimes feel embarrassed for a Jeopardy contestant who does nothing more than betray the magnitude of his ignorance on national TV. Not that we have any solutions. We suppose hiring lots more good journalists to write interesting stories that people might want to read (and not the dreary set-’em-up, knock-’em-down kind that are indeed contributing to newspapers’ decline) is out of the question, so we shan’t pitch that out as a possibility. Or making people pay for the online content, something like that.
But wait: The Chronicle's Teen Columnist is back, or almost back.
Life is indeed good.
*If that don’t win the Pulitzer for good writin’ there’s no justice in this sorry world.