Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
P.S. At the cemetary today I noticed the last names on the headstones were written in Helvetica.
Helvetica? I think so.
The main reason I wish my eyes were a camera, however, is Wednesday night.
After our first day of treking across Columbia University and dinner at Ollie's Noodle Shop, our group filed into the lobby of the Pennsylvanian Hotel, amongst many foreign tourists and the like. Since the elevator situation is basically first come first serve, Ari, Liz S., and myself pushed our way into a croweded car of drunk Scottish men. Before the doors even close, a pale skinny man starts stripping himself of his shirt! Maybe I need to repeat this for you slow readers or skimmers.
HE STARTED STRIPPING, BEAR NAKED.
I am telling you, this man wasted absolutely no time. Since all of us were getting off at the third floor, in less than 30 seconds, he was wearing a birthday suit. He then started to push toward Ari, myself, and another young man behind Ari, who was just caught in this crazy elevator with these crazy people. When we finally got to the third floor, we all stumbled off, the former pantless man now wearing his jeans, laughing hysterically.
I guess you can never tell with some people. One moment you think they are cute foreign tourists, the next, they are stripping in your elevator.
P.S. We met Tim Gunn. Lyke zOMG.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
But I guess the meat of this post would have to be the idea that the internet is too expansive to imagine. Honestly, the human race is to the internet as god is to the cosmos. We control an ever expanding, unconquerable domain. And just think about the miniscule fraction of the internet that the average American (not the average human, considering the assumed fact that most humans will never have access to the internet) will explore. I spend my internet time on facebook, wikipedia, and a tiny bit of last.fm. It's kind of interesting to categorize the different types of sites too. Galaxies would be divided into the social networking or the reference, the shopping or the professional. Planet facebook is a web of interconnected elements, each with the characteristics of the divine, yet just as inanimate as the wind or the waves. I guess the question (that only surfaced as this post developed) is the same one that religious fanatics and scientific researchers have debated for centuries: if that spark of life does come, will it be from us, the divinity, or will it spawn through events beyond our control and understanding?
That's some matrix shit right there.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
To conclude, I think it's pretty interesting to have every passage contain information about the media. I guess Communications class affects me more than just period 2 from Monday- Friday.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
But then I realized that the influence such potential endowment-givers wouldn't be that much greater than your average scheming advertising agency, would it? What do I know about spheres of influence in the land of cash-money, I'm only making assumptions here.
Also, I read a couple responses below, and I got a completely different vibe from the article than some people. I'm not thinking about endowments as comparable to recent bailouts in the slightest. Newspapers aren't asking the government to erase their debts, they're asking for private groups to help fund their publications. Right? Isn't there a difference? Am I totally wrong? The media seems to me to be at the wrong end of the stick, which companies relying on bailouts seem to be closer to the cause of.
Blah blah blah, who knows the answer to this big moral questions, blah blah blah, not me.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A world without newspapers or even books would be the end of a major part of education and progression. If newspapers, magazines and books are gone society is going to lose a vital and necessary part of life the chances to form their own opinions and think for themselves.
So now newspapers need to be saved. I'm not all that surprised that they are asking for a (do I have to say it again?) bailout. Granted, this b****** is for only $5 billion, it pales in comparison to many of the other b******s (let's go with a different one this time...Bank of America). But this bailout (I'm too lazy to use those asterisks over and over again) would render the newspapers as NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. So the newspapers would be funded solely through outside sources who don't expect anything in return. No "good" press for themselves, these contributors just want newspapers to survive. For the sake of argument, there could be some who are like that. What I think, and I know I'm just a caucasian, Jewish man, with a high school education and no "real world" experience, is that there are few people left who are truly that virtuous. Not like there isn't some bias in certain newspapers already, but I think it would be much more prevalent when given these "endowments."
Now to tackle the problem, there is a simple solution (not mine, I heard it on The Daily Show a few weeks ago), start charging money to read the day's news online. Just like people can buy a paper at a newsstand for maybe $1 a day, the people can pay $1.25 a day to read their news on the internet. This price (hypothetical) would provide the physical newspapers with an edge in price and would drive people away from their internet news. And I know that my plan is not perfect. I obviously haven't tested the theory or have any real expertise on the matter, but nowadays it seems like everyone is looking for their bailout...
Sample Dialogue (fake)
Boss-"Our company is failing, we need to file for bankruptcy. What should we do?"
Employee-"Oh I KNOW! I KNOW! Let's find new and better ways to make money!"
Boss-"Shhh, we don't care about all that fancy new things to do. We need an easy way out."
Different employee who, after his suggestion will receive a promotion-"Let's ask for a bailout from the government!"
Boss-"Great idea! It's easy, and why should we take responsibility for our failure? You get a promotion, no pay raise though."
So as it seems as if every company and every industry asks for more and more bailout money from the government, can newspapers please ask themselves if they can find some other way of making money?
During his speech, however, he too mentioned the issue that this article brings to mind. When an audience member asked him about if he thought there was a decreasing amount of newspapers and an increasing amount of people using the internet as their main source of news, he responded with "absolutely."
At the time, this statment blew my mind. How could a man of such prestige that feels so much passion towards the magazine, a printed form of media, he works at admit defeat? How could he back down, only to let newspapers and magazines alike go completly extinct without attempting any sort of prevention or fight?
However, as he proceeded with his point, it started to make sense. He nor anyone else was "admitting defeat." They were simply adapting. Whether we like it or not, the internet is here to stay. Nothing will get worse about the internet, only better. It is highly unlikly, both in the near future and the long term, that we will revert back to the time when you got your news strictly from newspapers and other forms of printed media. Now that the internet's potential has been realized, it will not be limited.
What we need to do is find a way to make newspapers and magazines unique in a way that is not applicable to the ways of the internet. Though it will be hard to find such a way, it is possible and I believe this will someday be acheived.
That being said, I am not in total agreement with the endowments the article talks about. If a newspaper is not allowed to print information about upcoming elections and politics, what is the point? If a newspaper cannot voice their opinion, then is it defeating the purpose of the paper?
As you can see, there is no solution to this problem. The only conclusion I have come to is that in the end, not everyone will be happy.
The percentage of people that appreciate print media is shriveling. Personally, I love having a tangible newspaper, and trust it so much more than anything I read on the Internet. There is something virtuous about a newspaper, that in my eyes at least, the Internet will never have.
But I do believe that society needs to adjust to the times. It would be unrealistic for me to believe that with all the debt, that the newspaper will survive. In these economic times, everyone needs to cut luxuries and the newspaper is becoming one of them. With the number of newspapers that have filed for bankruptcy, most economic solutions are unlikely. Couple that with the environmental issue and you have good reasons not to invest in print media.
So for now, until we reach a point where America is economically stable enough to bring back print media, newspapers companies should embrace the Internet. Without any print media to support, a strictly online newspaper will have a better chance at surviving. I am no economic expert but I feel that the 2008 research report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Company stating that ads to support and online newspaper are "is idiotic on its face" is a little extreme. There are plenty of websites that are self-sufficient and a newspaper can be one of them.
Maybe these websites need to provide something more than text content. I do not know what that would exactly be but things need to be changed. Pouring money from one place to another will not give you any solution. Some evolution needs to take place and I think the decline of print media is just the start of a new era.
This just ties in well with the start of article :)
Although the New York Times Op-Ed piece made some very compelling arguments, the idea of newspapers relying on endowments just seems unnatural to me. Call me cynical, but the thought of wealthy individuals donating money to newspapers with no strings attached seems far too good to be true (especially considering the current economic state). The role of the newspaper has always been to objectively inform the American public about matters of pressing concern, and I just don't think it's possible for papers to continue to play this role when their bank accounts are controlled by private individuals with their own agendas.
I feel like the NYT Op-Ed piece's assertion that a newspaper could remain autonomous despite the fact that it is funded through endowments is untrue. Sadly, in this day and age, the freedom to print the stories of your choice with the angles of your choice hinges partially on your fiscal autonomy.
I understand that it would be naive and just flat out wrong for me to assert that newspapers have a chance of survival if they continue to run the way they currently do. As the NYT Op-Ed piece pointed out, newspapers which are run like businesses will only continue to fail during these economic times. However I think that, despite their seemingly dismal future, newspapers have been given a great opportunity to prove themselves and cement their role in society.
Now is not the time for newspapers to throw in the towel and give up their precious autonomy; now is the time for newspapers to reinvent themselves, alter their business approaches, and do whatever it takes to continue to survive and serve the American people. I believe that if newspapers are able to do this they will be more widely respected once this economic crisis is over.
As a student who wants to pursue a career in journalism and who will definitely have to make a living off her writing, I am dismayed by the impending death of print journalism. I dont want to try to break into an industry that is crumbling at its foundation. Even as a simple fan of magazines, the affect of the economy and technological progression on print media concerns me. I love being able to physically pick up a copy of my favorite magazine, or peruse an article at length during breakfast. I do not rely on the internet for news, I simply don’t have time to spend searching for news on the computer. This might make me lazy, or ignorant, but I like reading PAPER, not PIXELS.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"I had watched the news and seen and heard the destruction of the 9th ward. But it’s not until you see it with your own eyes that it really sinks in and hits home. I've always believed that the spirit of skateboarding is making something out of nothing, and I have applied this mentality all over the world in any and every environment, but try as i might I could not imagine riding my skate board through the 9th ward. I did not feel it appropriate. And really, as I drove through the tattered streets, skate boarding was the farthest thing from my mind."
When I woke up yesterday morning, the feeling that can really only be described as "snow day mania" grabbed hold of me with full force. I rolled out of bed and downstairs to start a long day of lounging. I was not surprised to find the TV in my living room on, thanks to my brother who has yet to learn to shut it off when he leaves the room. What startled me was what was playing in his absence; it was a show called Drive-The South: Part 1. It quickly became background noise until I heard the quote posted above. The show was an episode in a mini series which features a skateboarder, Mike Vallely, who drives around the world exploring people, places, and issues that affect skateboarding and other aspects of youth culture.
In this episode, Vallely was driving down the devastated region of the 9th ward in New Orleans. The damage and destruction was something I was too familiar with. Having directly seen and felt the pain of those in New Orleans, this show brought a different perspective to my experience. You can never estimate how far damage and destruction will influence and affect life as we know it. I never considered that the skateboarding culture of New Orleans was affected by the hurricane. All the media mainly focused on following the storm was damage damage damage and rescue rescue rescue. Once the immediacy of the problem faded from the media's focus, New Orleans' recovery has all but faded from view. The city which was once the cause of inspiration for thousands was washed away in the months following the storm. Musicians, football players, teachers, swimmers, soccer players, students, party animals; all the facets of the city's culture has to be pieced back together, one by one, until the mosaic of life, love, and laughter which embodies New Orleans can once again be seen by all.
This was an interesting juxtaposition for me; the direct experience along with a national media perspective. Which one do you think prevails in our daily lives?
Monday, March 2, 2009
Brace yourselves Stamfordites(?), the biggest thing to come to Stamford since (your choice) Boyz II Men or Hootie and the Blowfish is coming! That's right, Jerry Springer AND Maury Povich are moving their shows to be filmed in none other than our town, Stamford, Connecticut.