[. . .] They sit staring at computer screens, sometimes with wires coming out of their ears, life passing them by as they drift through MySpace, that encyclopedia of the pathetic, and check out a video of a dog dancing the Macarena. It is so lumpen, so sad that nobody has shown them that opening up a newspaper is the key to looking classy and smart. Never mind the bronze-plated stuff about the role of the press in a democracy -- a newspaper, kiddo, is about Style.Garrison Keillor elaborates on seven easy steps on how to read a newspaper and leave your laptop behind.
Whether you're sitting or standing, indoors or out, leaning against a hitching post or with your brogans on a desk, a newspaper gives you a whole rich vocabulary of gesture. You open it with a flourish and a ripple of newsprint, your buoyant self-confidence evident in the way you turn the pages with a snap of the wrist, taking in the gray matter swiftly, your eyes dancing over the world's sorrows and moving on, crinkling the page, snapping it, rolling it, folding the paper in halves and quarters, tucking it under the arm or tapping it against the palm. Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, all the greats, used the newspaper to demonstrate cool. [. . .]