OH, IT GETS HEATED.
This week: The Importance of Print Media, and whether the Internet and/or Sady are destroying civilization as we know it!
SADY: It’s just. Whenever I read something that says the Internet is destroying print media or whatever. I want to punch a hole in the wall.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE:But it is! It is destroying print media!
SADY:Maybe it is destroying print media. But maybe, also, it is salvaging the idea of media as connection and community! There are all these voices now that are livening up or shifting or challenging the discourse, and without the Internet they would not have access! So if print media is suffering maybe that’s because it couldn’t keep up with the needs of its readers.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE:Good point, Ayn Rand!
SADY:All I am saying is that more voices are being heard! More conversations are being had! Conversations that are not bougie-ass NYT things about how you can’t Tweet at Milk and Honey any more or how hard it is to live on a six-figure salary in New York or how the economy means your daughter will only get one pony for Christmas or whatever.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE:Yes, but with the Internet, you only have the conversations that you want to have. You only hear what you want to. You’re not participating in a national conversation as such. There’s no community!
SADY:No, there are communities, and lots of them, which is great if your community is marginalized or excluded or inadequately represented or addressed by “the conversation” as it stands. Because “the conversation” has historically been straight, white, male, and middle to upper-class.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE:But what about picking up the local paper, and seeing what is on the front page, and conversing with the people around you about what is in the paper? Even if what you are saying is “the paper sucks,” there is a unifying thread. There is centrality.
SADY:Even if what you are saying is “the paper consistently fails to cover the issues that affect me and my community?” There is value in reading the paper if the paper is not relevant to your needs as a person who seeks to be informed?
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE:Yes! Because it ties you to place! It creates a sense of where you are! It connects you to the people around you.
SADY:This is ridiculous. This is A RIDICULOUS THING THAT YOU ARE SAYING. The thing you are saying is that the front page of the New York Times could consist of NOTHING BUT PICTURES OF MAUREEN DOWD’S POOPS, and we would all still have to read it. Because it is The Paper.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE:Okay, so… what do you know about what is going on in Afghanistan right now?
SADY:Not much! Maybe I should LOOK IT UP. On GOOGLE.
So, anyway. We let it drop. Then, last Thursday, the New York Times ran a story about how “hipsters” now have “pot bellies” if they are dudes! (It is a rebellion from the PERFECT BODY of President Barack H. “Ab Force One” Obama, apparently.) So here is the conversation I had this morning:
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE: So, you know that conversation we had about print media? I think this pretty conclusively proves that I WIN.
SADY: Oh, God.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE: Dear New York Times, I have an idea for your Style section! “Girls: Longer Hair Than Dudes, Most of the Time!”
SADY: Oh, GOD.
GENTLEMAN ASSOCIATE: “White People! They Are In All The Hottest Clubs!”