On Pop Culture: Pledge break

We’ll rejoin the regular “On Pop Culture” column in a minute, but first we’d like to take a moment of your time to ask you to call in with your pledge of support for this publication.

As you may have heard, our publication faces a tightening budget due to advertisers deciding that newspapers aren’t going to be the new MySpace. I know we’re not MySpace — the newspapers are like CraigsList, but with news and classifieds you have to pay for.

Because of the cutbacks, we’re now turning to you — the reader — for your support. For the cost of a submarine sandwich a month, you can help keep this column going. We will take your generous donation and buy our columnists sub sandwiches.

Since the inception of the “On Pop Culture” column last year, the average age of our publication’s columnists has been lowered by about 20 years. Without it and the “Starving Student,” the average age of the columnists jumps back to 67.

That includes Wm. Jameson T. Cornballer, our 93-year-old phonograph reviewer who thinks that “McPheever” is a disease his young fiancee died from in the 1930s. Thanks to your ongoing support, we have a vaccination for the most fatal and virulent forms of McPheever.

I know “On Pop Culture” can’t be as timely as the entertainment blogs or even weekly TV programs. Instead of going for instantaneous gratification, every two weeks our column goes for timelessness.

Remember where you were when he tried to explain the culture significance of the phrase, “Time to make the doughnuts”? Recall the good times when we tried to discuss the impact of the Disney Channel phenomenon “High School Musical” without actually seeing the program.

Who else but an overweight, out-of-touch columnist can shed insight on the things that you can hear and see with your own ears and eyes?

Call now. As our way of saying thanks, with your pledge at the level of $75 a year, we’ll give you a special premium — the voice of columnist Ryan singing a TV theme song on your phone answering machine. I’m a fan of “Electric Company” and “Speed Racer,” but can just as well sing the themes to “Lost” or “Heroes.”

We’re going to rejoin our regular programming in a minute, but we just want to let you know that we’ve got a lot of great things lined up for the next few months. April Fool’s Day is around the corner. We’ve got more “Secret Shames,” including a look at local karaoke bars.

With your generous pledge of support, we can … Uh, one second.

We’ve just received word that no one has called in during the past five minutes it’s taken you to read this column. I’m hearing from my manager that this will be the end of “On Pop Culture.”

Thanks for your support. It’s been a blast these past four months. And, please, buy a newspaper once in a while. It’s good for you (and me).

Due to budget cutbacks, the size of the Enterprise-Record’s “Buzz” entertainment section was halved. “On Pop Culture” was among the items cut to save space.

This MySpace-only column is my reaction to the news. The Dude abides and I hope I do too.