Dept. Of Eff The Heck Off: Prairie Dog Haz Offended Again!

We received this lovely voice-mail message from a Concerned Local Businessperson:

“I own four businesses in Regina and there’s no way in hell I’d ever advertise anything in your magazine after reading page seven where you’ve used the word “eff eff eff eff eff eff eff””. If you think businesses want to be associated with a piece of crap like that you might want to think again. Totally unprofessional, totally inappropriate for a city like Regina [that] likes to promote community and good things. Just a piece of garbage. I will be passing this on to a lot of my other friends in Regina who own businesses and say, ‘just stay away’ from this magazine. Bye! [click]”

Thanks very much for the thoughtful comments sent from your unlisted phone line. We do appreciate anonymous complaints and take them very seriously. It sounds like you’re upset about this article. I’ll attempt to address your concerns:

1.) Perhaps the problem here is that you’ve never read anything like prairie dog — which, to be fair, has only been  in existence for 18 yearsbefore, and you’re surprised to find something that contains such, ah, lively writing. And yet, perhaps surprisingly to you, publications like PD are a common phenomenon!  Our magazine belongs to a category of free publications called “alternative newsweeklies”. These free picker-uppers tend to have a left-leaning mix of news and commentary along with lively music, film, arts and lifestyle coverage. Articles in alts tend to be characterized by strong opinion, humour, intelligence and grown-up language. This is fine: alts are intended for an adult readership; in fact, in most markets they’re packed with ads for booze, pubs and clubs.

There is even an industry association (which, unfortunately, we are not a member of because we only publish bi-weekly).

You can find alts in most North American cities — my favourites are The Stranger in Seattle, Now in Toronto and The Coast in Halifax. The Georgia Straight in Vancouver is also excellent. Even conservative Alberta has three alts: two in Edmonton (See and Vue) and one in Calgary (FFWD). All are delightful.

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