A movie released in 1994 starring Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid and Robert Duvall. Directed by Ron Howard.

The movie gives a (Hollywoodized) look at what a newsroom goes through in a 24-hour period. There's a murder, there are suspects, but the suspects might not be the guilty party. The reporters at the struggling paper must get the story, and Henry Hackett (Michael Keaton) goes to every length to try to grasp the true story before the false one makes the front page.

A well done flick with an involving plot. I enjoy this movie because of this and because, while it may not resemble the excitement I experience in my newsroom every day, it gives an idea of the character-types you see floating around at most newspapers. You get the bitchy superior with a dearth of ethics, the edgy reporter with a few screws loose, the neurotic reporter complaining about you-name-it, and more.

Watching The Paper reminds me of work, only with a little more comedy and a little less of me secretly spending time on the Internet.

The Paper is the operational name of Yomiko Readman, the unusual and atypical super powered heroine of Read or Die. This name was given to her by the Section A of the Special Section Library Force , a semi-secret wing of the British Library. This group is evidently responsible for investigation of crimes surrounding and the protection of special books.

Readman's obsessive passion is books. Collecting, history, and knowing about books. The only thing that gives her more pleasure than getting her hands on an exceedingly rare book is just the simple act of reading them. How many books? Think of the largest stack of books a person can own, double it, and then add some more and that may approach the scale we are talking about. That is a heck of a lot of books. All of this massive reading and book buying comes at a huge expense. She has a large enough collection that she needs every free bit of space in a 5 story building to hold it all. So she works with British Library's Special Section to fund her book buying sprees.

Readman has the surprisingly useful and extremely unusual ability to completely manipulate every aspect of paper. That is right: paper. She can fold into a myriad of useful things. She can turn a simple piece of paper into something hard enough to deflect bullets or pliable enough to be used as rope or sharp enough to cut steel. She can even fashion extremely useful simple weapons of paper.

One may wonder at this point is that really a useful ability? How can a woman who looks more like a librarian be able to save the world with such a humble power? How useful is it to take a piece of paper and make stuff out of it? Can one save the world with just origami? If you never see Read or Die, then consider these things:

Look around your desk. Look around your home. Look around your favorite shop. How many pieces of paper you have scattered across your desk? How many books? How many magazines do you see everywhere for sale? See that newspaper that is scattered around? At this point in human history, paper is still everywhere. If every bit of paper just sitting around the computer you read this node from is a potential shield or weapon that would extremely useful don't you think?

In any event The Paper may not be able to leap tall buildings or blast things with laser vision eyes but she is powerful and she cares about the world around her. What more do you need in a heroine?

And as a hint to would be insane maniacs bent on world domination: Never steal a book from The Paper.

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