Twitter Me This.
[Note the new Twitter widget in the right column. After months of wondering what the hell was up with this Twitter thing, I decided to try it and discovered that it does possess a particular usefulness. Follow peakaction if you really can’t go until my next blog post before hearing what I have to say.]
There isn’t much method to this entry. It’s complete randomness. Don’t get your hopes up in any way.
I had written a couple of paragraphs that started everything off by talking about how I heard that aspartame causes ADD, but halfway through my point I forgot what I was trying to say and scrapped it all (not joking*). Consequently, I have decided to cut aspartame from my diet altogether. No more diet sodas, which is fine with me. They taste like medicine anyway. Good news, sugar, I now have reason again to reach for you over the fake stuff when I sweeten my Bill Miller iced tea. Actually, now I have an excuse to just order the sweet tea to begin with, which is how it should be anyway.
I read in USA Today (iPhone app version, not the paper edition) that as a condition of the automotive bailout, the White House has asked General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner to step down. What an ego check. I’ve been asked to leave jobs before, but it was never over a gig that I actually wanted to keep, and I certainly have never been asked to leave by the President of the United States himself.
I think if it were to happen to me I would be very ashamed — at first. But then I think I would cheer up, for two reasons: primarily, because I’m sure I’d be collecting a fat CEO-style severance package at the front desk on my way out, and secondly, you have to admit, that is one hell of a story to tell at parties.
“Wow, Bill, it really sucks the way your company just laid you off like that. By the way, did I mention that I was dismissed by the PRESIDENT?!”
You know you’re a really important screw-up when the most powerful man in the world is the one telling you to please fuck off.
Speaking of USA Today and papers in general, don’t blame the internet, or computers, for the seemingly-pending death of printed newspapers. Blame the iPhone directly. Since I got the iPhone, and since Apple released version 2.0 and the app store, I have not even picked up a single printed newspaper. If you don’t think it matters, think again. In the short time that the iPhone has been out, Apple has sold thirty million iPhones and iPod Touches, and I’m pretty sure that most of said iPhone OS users feel the same as I do about their apps. I get all of my news on my phone, and I like it better. Sorry guys, but it’s true. Yes, I still love the smell of newsprint in the morning, but I think the tradeoff (environmentally-speaking, mostly) is worth it. I am all for becoming a paperless society as soon as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I love newspapers. The tactile experience of reading a paper is great and very comforting in many ways, but the way things are going, it’s obvious that the newsprint death knell that technophiles have been screaming about for ten years is really about to toll. It sounds the same as the one that’s about to ring for 35mm film. Donggggg. Sad, but true. It’s coming. Stock your freezer now.
By far the worst part about the problems that newspapers are having is the huge loss of jobs that will inevitably get far worse than it has already been. The San Antonio Express-News recently eliminated 75 positions from its newsroom alone, and the other foot is about to fall. Some of my close friends have lost their jobs, and I’m sure that the suffering isn’t going to end with them.
I have overheard a few people saying that the switch to a semi-paperless method shouldn’t hurt so bad because newspapers will still have to employ a substantial editorial staff for online content. True to a point, but it’s still going to mean the loss of a lot of newsroom jobs.
What is also really going to hurt people is the escalated loss of the newsprint infrastructure jobs. Even when I was still in prepress, several years ago, a pressman had a fairly difficult time finding a good gig. Imagine what it’s going to be like when the job market is saturated with experienced press workers looking for ever-dwindling work. Press room, delivery, warehouse, supply, page layout… Lots and lots of jobs affected. It’s yet another domino effect waiting in the wings, along with the automotive and financial stack.
But, who knows if I even know what I’m talking about. It’s 1 a.m. and I should be asleep because I have a shoot early in the morning. I’m lucky I can even form a complete sentence right now. I just wanted to hear the clack of the keys for a while. It’s a comforting sound, in that newsprint-smell kind of way.
*That would have been a totally hacky joke anyway.