Media: Praise for Paper

NYerClowesWe the parents each took some reading matter along to Kids Fun Stop on Sunday morning. When we got there, we saw that they have wireless, and wondered if we should have brought computers.

While we were there, I read (some of) the New Yorker, which is the only magazine that arrives in our house by subscription. With a PC, I could have done the same reading online. For example, here is an interesting article on the question: Should creative writing be taught?

But I was better off with the magazine in paper form. It’s very portable (important when one is keeping kids in view), boots quickly, offers excellent print resolution, etc. Of course, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been struck by the advantages of paper, it won’t be the last, and many others make similar remarks.

I wouldn’t consider it worthy of remark were it not for the illustration that adorns the cover of the current issue. A space traveler sits among gadgety debris, happily absorbed in a book. So: praise for paper; and kudos for Daniel Clowes, the artist.

Fail Whale, New Yorker Style

This is the image in question. If you don’t see an image with roads, then the New Yorker’s fail whale has failed (or perhaps just changed).

This is the Wikipedia article that sent me on the wild whale chase. Of course, it may well have been fixed by the time you read this.

This is a previous post on Twitter’s Fail Whale.

If I knew of a page about Fail Whales and their relatives, I’d link to it. Ideally, it would collect fail images.

A Tale of Three Videos

Imagine this. You run a venerable TV comedy show. It’s not as relevant and funny as it used to be. That it’s on a major TV network is not the strength it used to be, given the fragmentation of media and the rise of the web. To make things worse, TV writers were on strike for months.

But things are getting better. The writers are back at work. You can now air new content. Your former lead writer is guesting on your first post-strike show. She does a couple of minutes that are funny, challenging, quotable, current, relevant, controversial, and YouTube-able.

You, dear reader, probably know where this is going. The show is Saturday Night Live, the network is NBC, the star is Tina Fey, and the quote is “Bitch is the new black.” One of the main impressions of the show is that the clip that people want to see is no longer as readily available, since NBC had it taken down from YouTube.

Contrast the self-destructive, content-hoarding, anti-viral antics of NBC with the actions of The Onion. The Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early video may be even better than the “Bitch is the new black” clip. I think that it is, but I can see how others could differ.

What I am certain about is that The Onion is smarter than NBC with respect to viral video. The Onion posted its content at YouTube. It didn’t force the removal of content that allowed thousands of bloggers to spread the news that it has funny, relevant content.

Perhaps you think I overstate the idiocy of NBC. If so, I thank you for the complement: it wasn’t easy to do.

Or perhaps you think that the current issues of one little “democracy” and the media that cover it don’t amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of human affairs. If so, let me share with you a video about said grand scheme, just as Drawn! shared it with me.

And yes, I will feel silly if the “Ascent of Man” video is taken down, just as the “Bitch is the New Black” video was. But I don’t think I will feel silly – at least, not for that reason.