Friday, September 10, 2010

A Cascade of Lasts

Hello, World. It's Friday. And I'm growing sleepy. Very sleepy.

I have to say it felt odd to retrieve the local newspaper from the front lawn  this morning and realize it was the last time for a long time that I would allow myself to spread it open on the breakfast bar and read it.

Here's some of what I learned.

- The NFL season opened last night in the Superdome with the Superbowl defending Saints squeaking out a victory over the Vikings, 14-9. The forever young Brett Favre threw an interception in the second quarter, so who can say how his season will unfold.

- BP released a report on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Much of it amounted to finger pointing at others.

- After over a year in being kept in captivity with two fellow hikers who strayed across the border into Iran, an American woman is being freed. It is a gesture being made by the Iranian government as Ramadan begins.

- On the cusp of the 9/11 anniversary Florida "pastor" Terry Jones seemed to relent and say he would abandon his plan to burn copies of the Koran tomorrow.

Touch That Dial...

After my morning paper and morning cup of coffee it was time to make my morning drive to take our son to school. On the way back I listened to NPR's Morning Edition for the last time.

- A gas main exploded south of San Francisco and engulfed a neighborhood in flames. At least one has died. The search of homes goes on to determine if others may have perished.

- A Federal District Court judge has ruled that the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays is unconstitutional.

- And guess what? The Saints beat the Vikings 14-9.

Endangered Media Species

Of course, I then had to take a look at The New York Times on-line, which for years has been my home page on my Internet browser.

It was pretty much a rehash of what I had learned from my other sources, but speaking of The New York Times, there is this to note...

Yesterday at a "media summit" in London, Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the venerable newspaper which has long billed itself as the home of "all the news that's fit to print," said this:

"We will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD."

Of course, what Mr. Sulzberger has in mind isn't total extinction, but an evolutionary leap into the digital world that would leave behind the decaying wood-fiber carcass of the paper edition.

This news broke in the Huffington Post, which is a major player in the mish mash of digital sources offering bite-size nuggets of news. According to the experts, entities like Huffington are killing off the ink-drenched experience of holding a broadsheet in hand and leafing over page by page and not worrying about the coffee mug rings you leave behind on it.

This has me worrying.

When I awake 365 days from now can I count on the Sunday edition of The New York Times greeting me out on the front lawn? Or is it as if I am saying goodbye to a lover and though we agree we will meet again, more passionately than ever, we vow it!, she knows. This is it. She's not coming back. She won't even be around to see me cry.

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