NEITHER Phage nor Silly is worth paying for, as we all know, but it is still interesting to see what is animating their feature supplements' writers and editors. How many fresh editions from Text will be reviewed this week, for example? If it is a normal Saturday, quite a lot, as the Phage seems to have such an affection for the imprint that one hopes the leftoid publishing house's editors and authors will always remember to flush. Should they fail to do so there is every chance the Sorbent will be fished out and given a five-star rating.
Or perhaps you are curious to know what young people are up to these days -- the sort of young people, which is to say almost all, who generally do not read newspapers. Well the feature supplement always has quite a bit for those hip, non-reading kiddies, and studying the latest hot DJ's antics will make you wrinklies seem cool, very down with the youth. Your children will be most impressed late in the afternoon, when they have slept off the XTC binge of the night before, and you greet them with plimsols laced in the latest ghetto style.
And there is Leunig, always Leunig, whose ducks and curl-topped cliches will rekindle an interest in religion, most particularly Ecclesiastes 9:11
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Time and chance certainly happenth to Leunig, whose time was 40 years ago and whose chance it has been to luck into a gig at a newspaper where everyone professes to find him funny because everyone else says the same thing. Nobody really does, of course, and probably not even Leunig himself, whose biggest chuckles must come when the cheques arrive.
Anyway, all of the above can be yours without spending a cent. When you buy The Australian, simply ask the newsagent if you can take the Phage or Silly supplement as well. Not once in more than a year has the Professor's request been declined. As the newsagent said only yesterday, "Take it! It'll save me bundling it up to send back."
As the Occupists were fond of chanting -- the same Occupists hailed by Age sometime-editor Michael Short as belonging to "a valid and important movement" -- corporate greed sucks, man. So don't support it. Yo!