I always look forward to the Thursday Freeploid; one of its features is a weekly droplet of wisdom from the sweaty brow of Art Woolf, Vermont’s Loudest Economist. His “How We’re Doing” column, typically short on insight and long on the obvious, can usually be counted on for an unintentional laff or two.
But this week? This week, Art takes a leap over the boundary between obviousness and obliviousness, and lands deep in the heart of absurdity. His column, for reasons that will soon become apparent, hasn’t been posted (yet) on the Freeploid’s website; but subscribers can see it, precisely as printed, in its E-Newspaper. Below is a screenshot — with the type deliberately too small to read, so we don’t run afoul of the ‘Loid’s jealous copyright enforcement practices. But all you need to see is the headline and the accompanying chart.
As you can see, the title concerns housing prices in Vermont, while the chart is about our driving habits.
I skimmed through the column, expecting that at some point the subject would shift from housing to driving. But it never did. The entire column is “The Vermont Real Estate Market for Dummies.” No mention of cars or trucks or freeways.
Yep, they printed the wrong chart.
Now, I don’t know — and, given the Freeploid’s total commitment to transparency EXCEPT when it comes to its own operations, I will probably never know — if the Freeploid screwed this up*, or if Art Woolf himself submitted the wrong chart. I kinda suspect the latter, if only because (as of 4 pm Thursday) the Freeploid hasn’t posted his column on its website. It’s only in the E-Newspaper. If the ‘Loid had possession of the correct chart, it’d be pretty simple to post the column online with the appropriate graphic. But if that chart is safely ensconced on Art Woolf’s own computer, then the ‘Loid wouldn’t have access to it.
*Err, should I say Gannett’s cheapskate consolidated out-of-state page design staff?
Just one of life’s little mysteries, and a lovely moment of surrealism in the normally Dada-free pages of Vermont’s Fattest Newspaper.