Would you start a speech to a business audience with the dictionary definition of some word, as in "Webster's defines âprocrastination' as..." etc?
You wouldn't dream of it. The clichÃ© to end all clichÃ©s, right?
Well, bad news. The "list" article is dead, too. I am declaring it dead with my very own list which, if we're at all lucky, will be the very last one to appear on the Internet. Ever.
No. 10: It was a dumb idea when magazines did it to death 10 years ago. Now look where they are.
No. 9: You don't really have 10 good ideas. You have maybe two, three at a stretch. Why push it?
No. 2 through No. 8: See reason No. 9.
(Drumroll, please. More...
Let me tell you something funny about my dad: He laughs at me because I can type.
Seriously. Being able to touch-type, in his world, is akin to knowing how to operate a forklift or crank a leaf blower - skills for another class of person. Back in his day, only secretaries bothered with typing. If my dad needed to say something in print, he just rattled it off to a waiting secretary or spoke into a recorder.
He's a young guy, my father, a relatively early baby boomer. He's in touch with the Internet and has a cellular phone, but he maintains that typing is not a skill he would ever need.
Of course, in my line of work typing is like playing a musical instrument. Essential, beautiful a little bit, if it's done right. Frank More...
What do you know? How do you know it?
Once upon a time - roughly when dinosaurs walked the earth, in media years - you knew what you knew because a cranky, literate, funny newspaper editor told you what you knew. This goes all the way back to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, but the tradition of the gatekeeper only recently expired.
A lot of tears have fallen over the easily predictable death of newsprint (the machines, the ink, the trucks, all that money!) but far less over the end of the gatekeeper. We love our movie images of the rough-ân'-gruff boss-editor type, so well-played by Robert Duvall in The Paper, and of course embodied by Ed Asner's Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Yeah, I'm old, I get it. See "di More...
Right about now, you should be getting your last printed copy of U.S. News & World Report.
Sad, isn't it? I grew up a fan of the old weekly. I was reading "Washington Whispers" while most of my high school friends were flipping through ratty comic books or talking about MTV.
I looked down a bit on Newsweek and Time as hopelessly sleepy, middle-of-the-road books. Reading USN&WR was like belonging to a club. An annoying, smarty-pants club. The closest thing to it, probably, was The Economist, and I wouldn't geek out that much for another few years.
I won't miss it.
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