In the James Thurber story “The Greatest Man in the World”, an undesirable American hero is upped by the Powers That Be. When they eventually become thoroughly disgusted with him, he is “accidently” bumped out of a skyscraper window.
And so it begins for real. Newspapers as we know them today will soon be in the recycling bin of History. More dailies will become weeklies/monthlies, or, if they cannot make it online, disappear altogether. Old media, indeed.
Oh, I think perhaps they are. My 13-year old daughter does not listen to radio at all, an industry I used to be an enthusiastic part of until being down-sized in the corporate merger frenzy a few years ago. I seriously doubt radio is picking up new younger listeners. There is no just compelling reason for it. But of course Arbitron (or “Arbitrary-tron” as one of my former GMs used to call it) is interested in making radio still look viable for its own survival and justification for existence.
“Do I like Obama, personally? I do. Do I think he’s got good policies? Look, I’m like everyone else, I hope so. They sound good. They sound like something I believe in, so I think based on his performance and the way that he has run his campaign, I feel that it is reasonable to feel confident that he is going to take the same discipline and smarts and lack of drama and apply them to the very serious issues today and I think that makes him a good choice for President. Do I think that his candidacy is historic? Sure, that’s exciting too, but what I think it’s really amazing that he exists in the same world that I also inhabit and no other political candidate lives in that world right now. They live in a made-up world that is not reality. I think that that’s why you see Obama surging right now. It’s that the people like the fact that Obama lives in the world that they live in.”—John Hodgman | The A.V. Club
“Then, when it was flashed across the screen that the Troopergate report has been released and it was determined Palin abused her authority, it was like David Shuster winked at me and it sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around my living room.”—Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » I Feel Like Rich Lowry
I read the report and couldn’t put it down. These people, as this article says, engaged in “a co-ordinated application of pressure on Monegan so transparent and ham-handed that it was almost certain to end in public embarrassment for the governor.” Amazingly small-minded and, in the worst sense of the phrase, “small town”.
Wasilla is what inevitably happens when there are no codes, no civic oversight, no planning, when the only governing principle in a community is a naive and superstitious trust in the benevolent authority of the free market. Palin’s view of aesthetics was nicely highlighted in 1996, a few months before she ran for mayor, when a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News happened to light on her in an excited crowd of five hundred women queuing up in the Anchorage J.C. Penney’s, waiting to snag the autograph of Ivana Trump, who was in town to hawk her eponymous line of scent.
‘We want to see Ivana,’ Palin said, who admittedly smells like a salmon for a large part of the summer, ‘because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.’
The blot on the Alaskan landscape that is Wasilla is the natural consequence of a mindset that mistakes Ivana Trump for culture.