Okay, A.J., fair enough. But how do you account for Jana Pruden's column in the Leader-Post? I knew Jana when I was at the L-P, and I've known her husband Evan since I was in high school. They are both smart, hip, funny, even sassy. They are both very nice people. So why does Jana's column in general, and her most recent one specifically, bug me so much?
Because it's not smart, it's not hip, it's not funny and it's not sassy. In fact, it reminds me of Peggy Hill's Musings columns from Mike Judge's King of the Hill, only those were actually funny.
When Pruden took over the general interest column from disgraced retiree Bob Hughes, it seemed as though the paper was finally starting to pay attention to the 20-55 age group that has rarely seen itself in the Regina daily. Finally would come a fresh voice from someone engaged with urban life, someone who valued art and culture at least as much as football, someone with something different to say. Instead, we got Bob Hughes in a skirt. Well, the most benign form of Bob Hughes in a skirt. I haven't read all of her columns, but I doubt that Pruden has attacked organized labour with the reckless meanspiritedness that Hughes embarrassed himself with. But Pruden definitely carries on Hughes's legacy of joyless solipsism, stories about cats and uninspired boasts about not understanding what's the big fuss about current trends. Pruden's latest col overdoses on puns as she states and restates her love of shoes. Why am I reading this?
I continue to read, I guess, because I know Jana Pruden to be capable of fine writing. You can see it in her court reporting. You know it if you've ever had a conversation with her. So why is she punching below her weight class with these asinine columns, wasting primo real estate with sad, Diagnosis Murder-style pap like "after some serious sole-searching" or "invariably, I flip-flop" when there's a readership starving for interesting commentary?