The Italian connection

A letter from Mylonas Libero of Modena, Italy, arrived in the mail last week with a simple request: “Dear editor, I am a collector of daily newspapers and magazines published in all the countries of the world. I write you for know if the possibility exists of have his daily paper. The date is not important. Any one copy is more than sufficient. Naturally I would be prepared to pay all postal costs. Hoping to have an answer also if negative. I greet you cordially. Separates salutes, Mylonas Libero.” What’s truly amazing is the fact the request made it to our office in the first place. The envelope that carried it was addressed: DEAR EDITOR CHICO NEWS AND REVIEW, CHICO (CALIFORNIA) U.S.A. The California looks like it was added as an afterthought because it is in red ink—the rest is in blue. And beneath a piece of white tape right next to the word “CHICO,” it says “TEXAS.” The envelope is postmarked Bologna, Nov. 17, 2002. Pretty good service.

We sent Mylonas two issues, one featuring on the cover local developer Andrew Meghdadi and the controversy he stirred up when he cut down a mess of oak trees, the other detailing local law enforcement’s exhaustive investigation into and bust of the strip club north of town. That should give Mylonas a fair view of our community.

You know you’re getting old when you watch the Billboard Music Awards program live from Las Vegas and you have trouble understanding what the award recipients are saying and you think maybe you’re witnessing the end of civilization. That just happened to me this week. There was this rapper named Nelly who won several awards. He was a short guy with a Band-Aid on his left cheek. And when he did the standard acceptance speech for his awards, he kept thanking people “for keeping us down.” As in: “And I want to thank our record company for keeping us down. And I want to thank all our fans for keeping us down.” When did keeping somebody down become a positive thing? And how did I miss it? I remember when keeping somebody down was a negative thing. As in: “The Man is keeping me down!” Maybe Nelly is thanking his record company for keeping him and his entourage grounded in reality by not letting them get big heads and thinking too much of themselves. I’m going to start peppering my conservations with this new expression before it gets old and stale. I mean, I missed the boat on using “sick” as a positive adjective, and I still haven’t figured out exactly what it means when you accuse someone of “fronting,” though I believe it has something to do with not being completely truthful.

One other thing about Nelly: He sang a song that is apparently very popular—it helped win him an award. The chorus of the song was "It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes." I assume that a majority of Nelly’s audience are teens. And here in Chico some of us are all a flutter over the notion of teenagers engaging in sex. (See any Enterprise Record in the last month for gratuitous details.) Sex is everywhere. Jack In The Box commercial: Comely "deck mate" wearing push-up bra asks the young male members of the math club if any of them are "good with knots." Subway commercial: Two attractive female customers say "We like it hot!" when they order their sandwiches. Sex is the common thread on TV—it runs through every sit-com, reality show and cop show. I bring up my e-mail and among the 100 or so daily spammings are a few ads for pornography sites. Sex sells things—it always has, and it always will. While we may not understand what kids are saying, we should at least have a clue as to what they are doing.