When Al Gore's people accused George W. Bush's people of using subliminal messages in campaign advertising, we here at the Tucson Weekly got quite a laugh. Subliminal messages! We don't need no stinking subliminal messages! Heck, we'll say it straight out. We want you to buy stuff. Lots of stuff. Stuff sold by our advertisers and, in those cases where the two don't coincide, by those upon whom the prestigious honor of Best of Tucson™ is herein being bestowed. If and when such an odd divergence occurs, buy 'em both, try 'em both, and compare for yourselves. We know we're right, but if you disagree, it's cool. We really don't care as long as you're out there consuming.
See, we've sold out. Well, actually, we've been bought out, but the distinction is a fine one. It's true that when we started this thing, it was like, "Hey, gang, let's put on an alternative newspaper!" We were all full of piss and vinegar and we'll-show-them! But darned if we didn't soon find out that we have to buy toilet paper and potato chips at the grocery store just like everybody else. That's when we came up with the idea of selling ads. We found that by making that small concession to The System, we could provide Tucsonans with an alternative viewpoint and we could eat, too. This seemed a reasonable compromise, and for years we stumbled along, taking three steps forward and two steps back. (Actually, our accountants tell us that the ratio was 100 steps forward and 107.32 back, thus the aforementioned buyout.)
Nothing of any substance has changed around here. We're still the anti-Star and Bizarro-Citizen. Only now we get paid on time--with checks that we can't dribble to the bank. And with our newfound financial stability comes an appreciation of the joy of blowing money. We buy DVDs and we don't even have a DVD player yet. We eat at restaurants where the tablecloths are real cloths atop real tables. One of us even went out and bought a summer outfit at the start of the summer. (Usually we'd wait until mid-September to buy our summer clothes, when we'd use a coupon to get an extra 15 percent off of the 25 percent slash of the 40 percent marked-down clearance price, which was 50 percent off the original's price. That way we would end up paying only 19.125 percent of the original price; years of practice allows us to do the math in our heads.)
For years, we asked your opinions on The Best of everything and then passed them along, often wondering wistfully what it must be like to own, eat, or wear those things. But now we're out there consuming and it's glorious. And we just want to share this feeling with you, our wonderful readers.
To spur consumption, we even commissioned America's Number One pop group to sing our Best of Tucson™ anthem. Just turn on any radio and you'll hear N'Sync doing their hit, "Buy, Buy, Buy"...