PIC Newspaper

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Scott Scranton has a message for all employers looking to bulk up and regain their workforces. Art critic Magdalene Aubergine visits the Somerville Art Camp. The PIC Clubhouse team breaks down Space Jam 2. All that and more in this week’s edition of the PIC Newspaper.

Just Good Business!

How to Entice Workers Back to Your Workspace

By Scott Scranton

Candy bowl

A candy bowl!

Heyo! Scott Scranton back to give out more nice tips for free (not something you should ever do as a business, hah!). This week has been tough for me, as the Missus and I got into a bit of an argument a few nights ago, but writing this blog is always something I’m looking forward to. Let’s get to it!

Many of my business-world acquaintances, such as Ricky, the man who runs my local Domino’s Pizza, have been complaining about a lack of employees and job seekers. Ricky says that he’s receiving very few applicants for the study position of delivery driver which pays a robust $7/hour.

When I offered to come in and talk to Ricky’s employees (for a very honest fee), he got a little shy and turned me down. So, I thought I’d put together a little virtual advice for Ricky and all the other bosses out there who want to add a little extra shine to their business and attract more workers.


Just a few small concessions can go a long way towards bringing people back to the workplace. As a boss, consider letting your employees take little tiny bites of pizza between shifts. Also helpful could be weekly talks with a local financier who could really help them with their futures. Think about it!

Staff Events

I think we can all agree that a workplace can be—and often is—one of the most rewarding social groups to be a part of. The chance to sign up for scheduled fun outings like a softball game or a trip to a museum can really boost attitudes. You could even consider having someone come in and perform—maybe a local band or, even better, a local financier who loves giving advice to excited ears! Scott Scranton, 395-374-2394.

Candy Bowl

There’s nothing that attracts workers like a bowl of candy. Potential employees will notice your workplace has a “fun” vibe. Whether or not you want to give your workers that candy for free, well, that’s your choice! My wife told me just a few days ago that money doesn’t grow on trees.

Show Them the Value of Their Wages

A lot of people on TV would have you think that “raising wages” is your only solution. That you will gain employees simply by “paying them more.” I reject this premise wholeheartedly. What you, as a business owner, need, is for your employees to understand the value of the money you’re already paying them. Why not hire famous local financier Scott Scranton to come explain it to them?

Flexible Hiring

Maybe someone hasn’t made or delivered pizzas before, but he’s a quick learner and has a lot of experience talking to middle schoolers about supply and demand and his wife is telling him that if he can’t get hired within the next thirty days she’s taking the kids and leaving him. In a worker’s market like this, you can’t insist on hiring someone whose skills “match the operations of your business.” If a finance lecturer is all that’s available, just hire a finance lecturer. Maybe he can’t do deliveries because he lost his license after getting pulled over for speeding both to and from the Henry Ford Museum, but he will make it up by working double. Ricky, I really, really need this. Anything you can do would be so helpful. You’re my guardian angel, Ricky, I just know it.


Magdalene Aubergine Visits the Somerville Art Camp

By Magdalene Aubergine

Crayons in a circle


I’d like to begin, as they say, at the beginning. I’m Magdalene Aubergine, Brooklyn-based artist, renowned art-critic, and globally inspired consumer of all works great and terrible. I’m cruel, I’m kind, and I’m profoundly human, and there is not a piece of art alive (and they are alive) that escapes my watchful eye.

Today, I am using the medium of the wonderfully underground PIC Newspaper to deliver my newest review: Somerville Art Camp.

My wanderings often take me every which way, and last week I found myself with a sudden urge to escape the machinations of the city and go look at a river. But art, my lonesome mistress, follows me wherever I go. When I found myself in Somerville, Connecticut I noticed posters advertising an art show at a children’s art camp. I realized that it was time for me to give back, to convey the inner workings of my artist’s mind outwards, for the next generation. So I arrived unannounced and unexpected (as I arrive at all places) and began preaching at the pulpit of art. (Or as the director crassly put it to me later, “yelling at kids.”)

When I first saw that these young artists had curated a collection entirely of oil pastels, I was delighted and intrigued. As a medium, oil pastel excites me. I personally find that oil pastel retains a timeless stoicism that never fails to titillate the senses.

Until today.

“me and my family” is a work with a lot of heart and little to no technique. As a conceit, the piece is strong— “me and my family” conjures images of a pastoral scene, which I expected he might try to subvert in some way. But in execution, the perspective and spacing turn what could have been the next Monet into little more than a scribble on the back of a children’s menu at the Olive Garden. Why must the parents’ heads be so large, and their arms so small? Why was the dog a rectangle? Aidan C. provides no answers to these questions, and I found the work, frankly, childish.

I kindly, but sharply, suggested that he take his work back to the drawing board, even if his mother thinks I’m “a horrible, cruel person.” Though the director says I “can’t talk to children that way,” I say, “c’est la vie.” Welcome to the art world, Aidan C.

“The Beach,” by third grader Jocelyn R., is a convoluted mess of inspiration that doesn’t know where the shoreline ends and the chaos begins. To experiment with color is a noble endeavor, but when depicting something as ubiquitous as the ocean one cannot simply decide that the water ought to be pink, particularly when paired with sand that is shockingly and sickeningly green.

When I asked her what the letter M’s in the sky were, hoping they might be an allusion to me, Magdalene, Jocelyn informed me that they were, in fact, birds. My analysis was further interrupted, as when I tried to use my oral senses to get a better grasp of the oil pastel’s texture, composition, and depth the director told me that I had to stop “licking the paintings.” While I believe abstraction should always be applauded and appreciated, Jocelyn’s “birds” were a disgusting affront to the senses, and I could not let her leave without first telling her so, and subtly suggesting that perhaps she might be better off giving up art forever.

It may seem harsh, but by informing her of her lack of artistic potential at age 6, I helped her to explore her options and perhaps expand her horizons. Perhaps she’d be more suited to sculpture (the simpleton’s medium), or music (I can’t even see it?).

“Soccer” is a revelation. Pure and simple. By 4:30 pm, I’d almost given up. The YMCA rec room was thick with the scent of wax and parents, horrible leeches desperate to prove their progeny more than desperate failures. “Soccer” was a breath of fresh air. “Soccer” was a moment. The moment. The player felt determined and fierce, even as her face, drawn without a nose or a mouth, betrayed the anxiety bubbling beneath the surface. Her stick straight hair, her lack of fingers? She was a revelation. The soccer ball was massive. But that, in a way, was more truthful than it being to scale. For doesn’t soccer, the beautiful game, loom large in the heartstrings of the world? Emma W. has a global vision. I offered to take her under my wing and bring her to my Brooklyn bungalow, but she told me she had to finish fourth grade and that she was having a sleepover with Emma R. later. What a waste.

What was most, the director of the camp seemed unconcerned with the culture of mediocrity rotting his academy from the inside out. Children were not just allowed, but often encouraged, to step away from their still-lacking work just to socialize with the other campers, play games, or “sleep.” And when an accidental flower shone through the garden of concrete he had so brutishly sculpted, he chose not to water it but to chop off its head. To see no difference between Emma R. and the other children at this camp is to stare art in the eyes and spit in her face.

I was not invited back for next week’s showcase, where I hear they will be using yarn and glue (gauche). In fact, I was explicitly barred from attending. I will not torture you with a conclusion. Like the best art, this will just end.


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The PIC Clubhouse

What our team at the PIC Newspaper has to say about the hottest topics in sports.

LeBron James's NBA jersey

LeBron James's jersey.

On the 16th of July, Warner Bros. Pictures released a summer sequel for the ages. Space Jam 2: A New Legacy, had everything going for it: a pre-existing fan-base, two separate pools of viewers to draw from (the NBA and Looney Tunes), and ten full-time screenwriters. But could the series’ new star, LeBron James, hold a candle to his predecessor Michael Jordan?

Horace Rutherford: Trainwreck. Only thing that could’ve made it worse is if LeBron paused in the middle of the movie to lecture me about politics.

Ned “Bungee Cord” Sanderson: Very silly and fun, took my niece and nephew to see it and they loved it.

Brooks Farmburger: The movie lost me when James flopped and flailed his way through outer space. Would the great Michael Jordan have been pleading for a foul after such a light push out of Earth’s atmosphere?

Ebeneezer “The Kid” Scrooge: I was literally yelling at my TV watching LeBron defer to Lola Bunny on fourth quarter possessions. At a certain point we have to ask the question: are these the kinds of decisions a superstar should be making?

Chet “Spanky” Luntz: James appears to be completely preoccupied with “rescuing his son” and entirely unwilling to put his team first. Disappointing, though not altogether surprising.

Sue Willoughby: It’s for kids. It’s fine. Why is everyone freaking out about this?

Moe Ribbon: Burning my custom Warner Bros. futon as we speak.

Nancy McNancy: I won’t believe in Bugs until I see him play at a high level in an NBA Finals game. Everything else is just noise.

Celine Casper: Superteam.

Del “Puke” Conklin: A slap in the face to the city of Los Angeles and the planet of Earth. Despite being given wealth, fame, and adoration, LeBron needs the spotlight of playing in space. Once again, big markets prevail over homegrown teams because of selfish superstars. Fans of basketball and cinema should be disgusted.

Peter “Hard Hat” McDonalds: Much like its leading man, the new Space Jam is too expensive, more flash than substance, and is less far interesting to me than Michael Jordan’s 1990’s exploits, which certainly has nothing to do with my being 30 years older and everything to do with James’s myriad personal deficiencies.

Food for thought never tasted so good. Thanks for joining us this week at the PIC Newspaper.