You cannot turn on the evening news without seeing explosions blossoming out of buildings in Tripoli, steam rising out of Japanese nuclear reactors, or cars floating upside down like tin cans in tsunami-soaked towns, and yet this week the editor of this newspaper (and I use the term very loosely) chose to expend the bulk of the travel budget on transporting KELLY O and GRANT BRISSEY to Austin, Texas, to cover (and I use the term more loosely still) a weekend of rock-and-roll concerts. Miss O and Mr. Brissey apparently drank a lot and spent a concomitant amount of time in bathrooms. Accompanying the essay (if it may be called such) are revoltingly revealing photos of restrooms in disrepair.

In Miss O's defense, it is not as if there is much content to illustrate: Mr. Brissey ekes out only a handful of words tangentially related to the festival's music—as is to be expected from a "music editor" who has yet to form a cogent analysis of anything or, for that matter, remain sober enough to pen more than two paragraphs. Indeed, Mr. Brissey's sentences read like his fists stumbled about the keyboard while a computerized spelling-correction program formed the letters into random words.

Elsewhere, in a bold move into another field in which the staff possesses zero expertise, a sports section has evidently been inaugurated—as if anyone has ever in their lifetime picked up The Stranger and thought, "I really wish they covered sports." The writers, no doubt aware of their own embarrassing deficiencies, attempt to cover for them by proudly marketing the sports coverage herein as "cannabis powered." How such content could be of interest to any sports fan—or any fan of demon reefer, for that matter—is anyone's guess.

In other sections: ELI SANDERS and GOLDY, over in (so-called) news, are typically communist and incomprehensible. BRENDAN KILEY, writing for the film section, entertains his own grandeur by plagiarizing Charles Dickens. His point: One movie he saw was the best of times, while another was the worst of times. Even for this publication, this plunges to new depths of shallowness. JEN GRAVES, speaking of overblown and picayune, emits a howl in the visual art section lamenting the closing of several pet projects masquerading as art galleries. Riddle us this, Miss Graves: If this "contemporary art" is of such value, why do its venues fall like dominoes while a painting by Dutch master Gerrit Berckheyde sold last week for $6.3 million? And in the dining (yet another term deployed nearly unbound from its meaning) section, BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT lauds the hippie replacement of Madison Park's venerable Sostanza Trattoria, while SARAH GALVIN interviews a man who delivers pies on a bicycle. No more about anything (perhaps ever) need be said.