By Whelan Prentice Funderburk'


Dear reader, do not let your eyes wander away from this column! Let them tarry here a moment and read the words I have written, for herein lies vital information to your liberty and self-governance!

Since last I submitted a column to this fine publication about the importance of voting in presidential elections, I have discovered something called the Internet. It is not unlike a typewriter connected to a newspaper that is also a motion picture. One need only strike a key and, as if by magic, thousands of words appear, along with advertisements promising “hundreds of sexy singles in Bellingham.” What’s more, the Internet can send and receive news faster than a telegraph, with accompanying photographs of Rahm Emmanuel scratching his nose.

I am told that the Internet will revolutionize the way we read the news. It enables us to read more headlines more quickly. It enables us to look at more photographs more fastly. It even allows us to angrily comment on editorials and compare people to Nazis as quickly as we can type.

However, I have also been told that the daily newspaper is rapidly going the way of the spotted leopard. This is the worst news for my stock portfolio since World Zeppelin Industries Ltd. went out of business in 1930. However, it is also dreadful news for you, dear reader! Sure, you can get YouTube videos and Twitter updates at the speed of lightning, but what will become of the local rag and the community newsman? I ask you, who will break the story of the back alley dice game? Who will expose the corrupt dealings of the local constabulary? Who will suffer the mind-numbing tedium of a county council meeting just to get you the latest news on how your property taxes are being spent? Who, I ask!

After my graduation from Western Washington University in 1912, I went on to a proud 20-year tenure as a writer and editor for “The Sandusky Speculator.” Ah, the smell of cigarettes and fresh ink on paper! I was a hardboiled reporter in my time, relentlessly pursuing the scoop. “Funderburk!” my gruff but loveable editor would shout. “I just got off the horn with the deputy and it seems there’s a great hullabaloo at the convention center! Hurry on down there!”  And hurry I would, notebook in hand and hat on head, to get the story for the community I loved so dearly.

Perhaps it is still too soon to call. It may be that the Internet really will be a valiant watchdog guarding the front yard of liberty. But for right now, I encourage you to stain your fingers in the ink of freedom. Take the paper you hold in your hand and rustle its pages. Rustle them mightily! Let them flap in the air like the wings of a bald eagle flapping toward justice!

Now I must bring this column to a close, as the Internet has just informed me of a way to lose 10 pounds in 10 days, and I am intrigued. Until next time, I remain your faithful public servant, W.P. Funderburk.