Click here for SFR on MySpace

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Protesting Too Much

I'm not sure I have it in me to read yet another story/obit arguing for the importance of newspapers and singing their swan song. Much as I love journalism and revere newspapers (and, of course, make my living editing one), the decline of print media at this point could pretty much be summed up in a twitter: coulda,woulda,shoulda.
Don't get me wrong. I eat up all these stories: They're dramatic and compelling and, ultimately, really freaking sad.
It's like looking out the window as you drive by the detritus of a car accident, except in this case the car accident is a 20-car-pile-up and instead of driving by you're actually stuck in traffic with nothing else to look at.
But there's something spurious about insisting to people that they understand the importance of newspapers: their intrinsic link to democracy; their watchdog role over government; their connection to community. It reminds me of interviewing blowhards who spend the whole time explaining how humble they are.
Of course, I believe all of it: the democracy, the watchdogging, the community part. But, then again, I'm not the one who needs to be convinced. And, just as it's bad form to write for your sources no matter the beat, newspapers' insistent coverage of their own industry strikes me as slightly problematic. No, it's not a story that can be ignored, but there's a weird disconnective flavor to all of it. How can any journalist write about the decline of newspapers without some level of conflict of interest?
More importantly, what is the public, assuming they have been or can be convinced of the importance of newspapers, supposed do about the problem? Read them? They are reading them. Buy ads? Sure, if they have the money to do so. Sign on to a Day Without the Internet? (Now there's an idea).
I'm not saying I have tackled and solved the question of how to re-envision newspapers (I'll leave that to greater minds than mine), but it does strike that it might be time for someone to generate a To Do List for the newspaper-loving public. Because harping on abstractions (newspapers promote democracy)is about as convincing as making someone eat their vegetables because children elsewhere are starving. Even citing specifics (as journalists are supposed to do) isn't that helpful. We can all cite important stories that sparked change and hypothesize about what might have happened if, instead of column inches, we had to change the world one twitter at a time (God save us all). But that doesn't really change reality.
Maybe there's nothing working journalists really can do, except keep plugging away and producing journalism that shows, rather than tells, the importance of this endeavor. (although as I wrote that last sentence a vision of the musicians on the Titanic popped into my mind; even worse, it was the James Cameron Titanic).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

evidence of mental malfunction

On Friday I woke up to no hot water and, upon further inspection, a big-ass flood. As the workmen worked and Nero ignored them (as in, did not even get off the couch as plumbers traipsed in and out), I decided to do the only reasonable thing a person could do in that situation: Find compatible software to hook up my printer.
I failed, although while hunting for various needed electronica and such in my home office, I found a box with memory for my computer that I apparently bought and never installed. I then contemplated installing it, but decided (after receiving a variety of conflicting and very male advice on facebook) to hire someone to install it. And then forgot about it some more.
On Sunday, after the Valentine's party, the boy and I headed for our weekly joint workout at the GC3. I put my stuff in my locker, locked it. Went back a few minutes later, opened the combo lock and stashed my sweatshirt. Forty-five minutes later, after racing the boy around the indoor track, we went to our respective locker rooms where I was completely, 100 percent, unable to remember the combination for a lock I have used, oh, maybe five times a week for the last two years.
So the workmen came into the locker room and broke the lock with bolt cutters.
The boy was very understanding of this short-circuit in my synapses. As he said, he would never expect to remember a combination lock; that's why he uses one with a key. And when I, a little whiningly, said I didn't want to have to carry a key around while working out, he made me a key holder that slips around my wrist. I mean, if that isn't love, what is, people?
Speaking of love, we had many nice loving photos taken at our pre-Valentine's party last Saturday night, at the Lodge, by photographer Jonathan Tercero, and here's the sneak-peak at the slide show I put together today. It will be up on the Reporter website tomorrow.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

On Cerrillos Road

Me: What, no comeback?
Boy, while driving five miles under the speed limit: No, because you're right.
Me: Oh yeah?
Boy: At least more right than I am. Any argument I make now wouldn't be based on fact. I could say that vegetables have feelings...
Me: Then you'd be arguing that no one should eat anything.
Boy: Exactly.

—The end of a very silly discussion about whether or not it's wrong to wear fur. I won.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Everything I Learned about I Life I Learned From Watching Zombie Movies With My Boyfriend

1. Corporate domination over society will result in most of humanity turning into the walking dead.
2. The government will be complicit in such corporate domination.
3. If everyone tries to escape through a single exit from a city, go the other direction.
4. Trying to videotape apocalyptic events is a guarantee you will not survive them.
5. If your best friend is bitten by something that doesn't die, you should probably say goodbye sooner rather than later.
6. Your car will eventually run out of gas if there is no more gas to be found.
7. Reincarnation may have some philosophical glitches.
8. Everyone looks good in black.
9. A sense of humor does not guarantee a long life.
10. The end of the world is no excuse not to have good hair.