Monday, March 07, 2005

Another idealistic rant

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That’s right. I committed the cardinal sin and adorned my moleskine, albeit with a very cool illustration I cut out of the newspaper. Why, you may ask, would T.C. do such a thing? The answer is—to whip out a Wikipedia phrase—disambiguation. My dad’s moleskine (he had one long before I did) and my own have lived in relative harmony for the six months of their coexistance, but my sister recently jumped on the bandwagon and it is hard to hastily grab my moleskine when three identical notebooks are hanging about. Hence, the adornment.

In said moleskine, I’ve scribbled a few potential topics, including “news changing bias Newsweek,” “cigarettes Bogart,” and “Springsteen Bowie Clapton.” We’ll see how much of this I get to.

The first topic refers to a feeling I have that some sea change is coming to the news media and the way we view news. It seems that Hunter S. Thompson’s death and the publication of a Tom Wolfe novel about raucous college life, for god’s sake, usher in this new period where journalism is at a bit of a stasis—the aforementioned writers’ gonzo journalism and related New Journalism, respectively, are all but gone except perhaps (as I mentioned a few days ago) in the hyper-subjective writing of bloggers.

Certain hugely significant political and social trends have garnered barely any coverage at all in the news, while the latest lip-synching scandal is pasted across every front page. Dan Rather and the CBS debacle (uncovered by bloggers!), enough said. Abu Ghraib. Jason Blair. While journalistic scandals are hardly a new occurance, they are certainly as or more prevalent than ever. The New York Times is still unashamedly biased as well, and lately I’ve noticed some total switches in stance on big issues that have gone completely unaddressed (the switches of stance, I mean, not the issues). Newsweek, which I used to look forward to on Tuesdays, has become a pathetic gossip rag (most recent cover article entitled “Martha’s Last Laugh: After Prison, She’s Thinner, Wealthier & Ready for Prime Time”—who on earth cares?! Nice job with being on the cutting edge, Newsweek, because that issue has never been touched upon before).

The thing is, though, that it is our generation that will effect this change on the news and media. The baby boom echo, kids of the baby boomers. There’s a lot of us, and as we grow up with that mix of intense idealism and burgeoning independence, we’ll soon be able to really do something. We’ll be able to vote, able to run for office. Maybe we’ll finally abolish the antiquated two-party system of government. We, the internet generation as familiar with news blogs as we are with newspapers, will be writing the news as inevitably subjected to our own sensibilities. Something is happening, and soon. And I want to be a part of it.

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And I guess I’m only getting to one of the things on my list. Oh well, I’m off to go think deep thoughts about Milton. Fare thee well!

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