Last week, The Stranger at least made several attempts at journalistic relevance. The main feature was an investigation by BRENDAN KILEY into a deleterious additive appearing in the cocaine supply. Apparently, Mr. Kiley was so anxious about this development that he actually placed telephone calls to researchers and scientists and policy analysts and drug-trade experts, and he typed up what he learned—facts, quotes, and so on. Even though it was by no means an important story or an appropriate use of space, at least it didn't contain scenes of him purchasing cocaine, using cocaine, describing the intestinal distress that the chemicals in cocaine were giving him, or suchlike. For The Stranger, it showed remarkable restraint, and seeing as I take my responsibilities as public editor seriously, I want to take this moment to retroactively commend him for reining in the usual egomania of his workplace and more or less staying out of the story.

The same cannot be said for this week's issue or its feature, which amounts to a very public confirmation that The Stranger is primarily made of navel lint. (That also explains why it is so absorbent.) Whereas last week, in addition to the cocaine-trade reporting, the paper published an analysis by DOMINIC HOLDEN of recent marijuana-arrest data and flew KELLY O to southern Illinois to photograph a lost native tribe called Juggalos (I am still not quite certain what a Juggalo is, but I am fairly certain one is supine in the office hallway), this week, editor CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE apparently told CHARLES MUDEDE, "Go sit at your desk and write something about yourself! I need it right away!" Mr. Mudede, no doubt delighted by the task, evidently drank and cackled for several days and then dictated a few colorful memories to an intern before passing out. The resulting essay by Mr. Mudede can be summarized thusly: "I'm African! I'm from Africa! Allow me to expound on my superiority! Did I mention how important my father was? I like breasts and Coca-Cola and say 'kilometers' instead of 'miles'!" If there is a Stranger reader employed at the Immigration and Naturalization Service as sick of this drivel as I am who could find sudden cause to arrest and deport Mr. Mudede back to that land of "tall and dry grass," I would buy such a man a martini. (And then, as they say, the world a Coke™.)

What I would not like to do is spend any more time with the "visual art" section that is being "produced" by JEN GRAVES, who this week apparently employs a pseudonym to write about herself. (Didn't read it.) In the food section, LINDY WEST types about her daydreams, which apparently take place in a dive bar called Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack & Watering Hole. (Skimmed it.) As for the city, music, theater, books, and film sections: They endure. (I couldn't be bothered.)

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