By Katelyn Gendron
Before you spiral downward into a full on panic attack, let me assure you that G. Michael Dobbs is alive and well and on a much deserved vacation. He has requested that I, his assistant managing editor, fill in as a guest columnist until his return in mid-June.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you pick up this publication solely for Mike's "rants" as he calls them, I'm sorry to say that you're out of luck for the next few weeks; however, we do share many of the same political, cultural and socio-economic views across generations. With that said, we do differ on some key points as it pertains to pop culture and sports, which make for some, shall I say, "spirited" conversations in the newsroom.
Moreover, let's take this time together to compare and contrast the heads of this News Department – which will allow you to make up your mind about reading my column next week – in a head-to-head battle:
• Politics – We're both liberal, pro-choice Democrats and proud to be so. No one should have the right to tell me what I can and can't do with my body, period! Oh, and when I see those "Choose Life" license plates/bumper stickers driven by some middle-aged man who's never felt the pain of a menstrual cycle or the hand of an abuser, I just want to key his car (but I refrain).
• Casino Gaming – Neither of us believe casino gaming in Massachusetts will be the end-all, be-all solution for the state's economic woes.
• Western Massachusetts – Dobbs proudly calls this area home, while I maintain my New York cell phone number. While I enjoy the fresh air and calmer/happier temperament of people in suburbia, I yearn for the fast-paced, take-no-prisoners attitude that is the concrete jungles of New York City.
• Music – I would defer to John Mayer and Jay-Z as two of the greatest artists of this era, while Dobbs still listens to John Lee Hooker on CD.
• Technology – As I've mentioned above, Dobbs loves his CDs. He has an iPod within his third, yes third, generation iPhone but he doesn't upload any music to it. I'm definitely a Mac over a PC and have the latest generation iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro to prove it. We live in a digital age and it's important that we stay on the cutting edge, even if that means we have to finance it.
• Film – Dobbs loves most movies, even those direct-to Red Box B movies. I can't justify wasting 90 minutes of my life on a B movie or an Asian martial arts film like he can. I'd rather watch a Cary Grant classic, a romantic comedy with Matthew McConaughey or a big budget action film like "Iron Man 3" or "Star Trek Into Darkness."
• TV – We like a lot of the same shows: "Big Bang Theory," "Mike & Molly," and "Person of Interest." He's never gotten into some of my favorites, however, such as "NCIS: LA," "The Following," "Scandal," "Game of Thrones," "The Borgias," and "The Walking Dead."
• Animation/Comics – Dobbs used to run an animation magazine. I know little about the genre, except to say that I love Disney movies, which he hates! Dobbs has something against Disney, with the exception of "Aladdin," "Fantasia" and "Snow White," and I still haven't figured out what. I never got into comic books as a kid. I do, however, like films based on comic books such as "Batman," "The Avengers," "X Men," etc.
• Footwear – He is all about function over fashion and to prove it he wears Skechers knock-offs. I prefer a stiletto or a snazzy gladiator flat. I wouldn't put it past Dobbs to wear the shoes I loathe most: Crocs and Dr. Scholl's.
• Fashion – I have the sense, he doesn't, although he'd try – and fail – to argue different.
• Travel – We both enjoy traveling so there's no real difference here except for my goal to visit all seven continents in my lifetime. Currently, I'm five for seven, with only Australia and Antarctica remaining.
• Sports – Dobbs doesn't care for sports or even watching the Olympics. My first hockey game was when I was 53 days old and I haven't left the rink since. I'm proud to call it my second home but please don't try to talk shop with me because unless you've lived as an industry insider as I have, I'll just act agreeable to your self-proclaimed "superior knowledge" while thinking – and justifiably so – that you're a complete moron.
I think we've covered the basics here. If you like what you've read then I welcome you to take in another column next week, if not, take comfort that Dobbs will be back shortly.
Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.