The Chicago Reader matters to me because it's part of my history.
I couldn't say if it's a quality weekly rag or a bundle of advertisements wrapped around an article or two. My vision is skewed because I relied on the paper to keep me informed during my college years.
Forever into infinity I will associate the Reader with nightlife and film festivals, along with intriguing works of investigative journalism. There were cartoons like "Life in Hell" by Matt Groening before "The Simpsons" made him rich.
What was playing at Facets Multimedia? All I had to do was pick up a free copy of the Reader and I had the answer to my question.
For almost forty years, it's been there for the taking, with its cheap ink rubbing off on your fingers. Almost all of that time, the paper was run by the founders, but a person can only put in so many years running a low-budget production before fatigue sets in. Once the Reader was sold off to Creative Loafing, however, it's been a rough ride.
Creative Loafing overextended itself with acquisitions, went bankrupt, and its newspapers ended up in the hands of the investment bankers.
Now comes word that Kiki Yablon, editor for the past few months, is leaving to take another job in journalism. Turmoil has re-entered the building.
It can't be much fun to work for an investment fund that isn't in it for a love of newsprint. The fact that an editor is calling it quits after a short time tells me that the Reader I know and love isn't going to be around much longer, or at least not in its current form.
A part of my past is tottering and I fear that it's about to fall apart. A touchstone of careless youth will disappear, following closely on the heels of my youth which wandered off when I wasn't looking.