At this point in the morning, I begin to despise myself for mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds and so I switch over to something truly meaningful and important: professional basketball blogs. ESPN's NBA page, the True Hoop blog, The Basketball Jones, Grantland's NBA coverage, and The Classical. I can tell another human being all about how the Minnesota Timberwolves are talented, deep, and primed to make some noise in the Western Conference.
The Onion responds, in a direct way, to current events far more than it did even a year ago. I want to make The Onion feel more relevant, and to make it a website people feel they need to check everyday, rather than just every once in a while. That means I have to follow the news quite avidly. Not only to know about what's happening in the news, but to know how the media is covering it, and how their coverage is flawed, or silly, or absurd. For the straight dope, I read The New York Times. When I want to know what kind of junk people are clicking on in a robotic stupor I visit the Huffington Post and, to a lesser extent, CNN. I look mainly at the home pages, because what's most important to me for satirical purposes is a news site's primary entry point. In other words, a news site's home page is its way of saying "Here is what we think is of the greatest importance today," and also, "Here is what we think has the best chance of being clicked on." And those two statements are what I am most interested in satirizing. And the more we respond to those things, the more people have the sense that The Onion is subversively invading the 24-hour news cycle, which is exactly the sense I want people to have.
At lunch, I can't look at work. So for 15 minutes, while I eat a terrible sandwich, I read reviews of things. Album reviews on Pitchfork or Robert Christgau's Expert Witness blog. Also comic book reviews featured in Tucker Stone's absolutely vicious Comics of the Weak column on The Comics Journal's website.
I go through phases with comic books. I will not read any for months and months, and then I will suddenly have a four or five month burst where I read a truly staggering amount of comic books. I am currently in one of the latter stages. Big time. I'm currently sorting through heaping stacks of Mike Mignola, Naoki Urasawa, Ed Brubaker, and Mark Waid. I buy comic books at Chicago Comics on North Clark in Chicago and Comix Revolution in Evanston. In New York, I would buy them at Bergen Street Comics in Brooklyn. I never read comics on the train, or anywhere in public, because it just makes me feel like a 12-year-old when other grown adults can clearly see me reading Captain America or Hellboy with great concentration.
But, hold on, I'm not just some man-child dummy. I also read a lot of historical non-fiction and science writing, too. Honest. I'll go ahead and recommend Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick, because I enjoy recommending nightmarish visions of despotic hellscapes.