Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mind the Gap

Halloween is coming, fast. It's my favorite holiday: met my wife on Halloween thirty-one years ago; bought our first house on All Hallows twenty-five years ago; we were at the Stadium in 2001, when Tino tied the first Halloween playoff game with a homer and Jeter later won it with his own in the wee hours of All Saints.

But, what are we all going to do this year? Every day seems like Halloween. Euro-Ghouls, Dow-Goblins, Zombie-Candidates! Where are All The Saints?

They're there, but you have to look in the nooks and crannies.


I have had a love affair with newspapers, since my grandfather dispatched me to the "paper store" to get The News, the Herald Tribune, The Times, and The Journal (the old one) in the morning and The Journal American and The Post (the old one) in the afternoon. The World-Telegram & Sun and the Long Island Press were delivered.

My first job was stacking and inserting papers on Saturday morning and late into Saturday night and early Sunday morning. By the time I reached a nearby White Tower for a burger, my hands were raw from the paper, the wire and the cold and were blackened with the print from a million words or so. I think some of those words are still imprinted on my hands and have finally found a way to escape here.

But my love affair with papers seems near an end. The newest Times, the last paper worth reading,with its newest Editor, has chosen to dismiss whatever semblance of objectivity was left and create a broadsheet for what it supposes to be the next social and political revolution, desperately seeking to make us think it's 1968 all over again.

Today's paper places the persistent but harmless Wall Street protestors on the front page of three sections, with photos: News, Business, and Sports. Sports? Yes, they compare the plight of the protestors with that of small market baseball teams. Please. This rag is quickly turning into The Harvard Crimson or Yale Daily News. Forget the politics, it's just Amateur Hour.

Look, I have nothing against these young people "protesting." I do not know a single soul who loves banks and banking  anymore, and that includes quite a few people who are bankers or who are in banking families! But, c'mon, this is not Egypt erupting here, or Paris in '68. And this blatant attempt to breathe real life into the demonstration to make it into a major political event and "movement" smacks not only of worn-out ideas, but, what's worse for the Times, irrelevancy. 

Global economics, business, and technology are moving at exponential speed, while our political, social and educational structures (not to mention print journalism) are evolving at glacial speed. Bankers are being overwhelmed in the same way that other mere mortals are. It is no longer just about left or right, red or blue, the Times or Fox, it is about the GAP between between global economics and our outmoded and under-funded social structures.

We have to re-design everything. Going retro won't do the job. For those who don't get it...R.I.P.

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