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EXTRA EXTRA! Get Yer Antiquated Newspaper

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YE Olde Newspaper.

I delivered newspapers for about 10 years as a kid.

Monday to Saturday. Rain. Wind. Snow. Oh yeah… snow!

All my siblings delivered newspapers too. It was in our DNA.

I was a GREAT paper boy. It took years to wash the newsprint ink off my arms afterwards.

I won trips to Detroit and Montreal and Ottawa for being a GREAT paperboy (my brother won a trip to California, he was the GREATEST!)

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I read newspapers avidly for about 50 years.

I was a GREAT newspaper reader, maybe the GREATEST.

I subscribed to 2 or 3 dailies, a financial weekly, and also to a bunch of magazines of different flavours.

Nowadays…. nowadays… I barely scan a newspaper. Not one made from actual paper at least.

I subscribe to ONE physical newspaper… Penticton Herald – and ONE paper-full magazine… Acoustic Guitar… no Macleans, no TIME, no National Geographic (African Lady porn, we all know), no Nose-Pickers’ Weekly.

So. Have I changed or have newspapers changed?

Both answers are incorrect… wrong you might say.

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED.

And of course, it’s not just newspapers. They’re merely one example of a huge picture.

Used to be that jugglers were special and rare. Jugglers schmugglers…

We turned on Ed Sullivan (who?) on Sunday night to watch somebody throw 2, then 3 balls, and if they were really good… 4 balls… in the air without dropping any.

We were GOBSMACKED at their ability and talent.

Today, unlike 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago, we don’t watch Ed Sullivan (he doesn’t look so good now anyways).

Today, WE ARE THE JUGGLERS. (OK, sometimes we do still watch other jugglers… Cirque du Soleil jugglers manage 50 or 1,000,000 objects simultaneously. Ridiculous)

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We all have dozens of metaphorical balls in the air and the internet is the wind beneath our wings that helps us keep this all afloat.

We multitask in 6 different directions and the ease of internet access facilitates our distractability. How many windows are open on your phone or desktop right this second?

Paper news takes time and money out of our lives, our pockets.

At essentially no cost, we can monitor news up to the millisecond from 1,000 sources… most terribly disreputable, but still many that have quality journalists and writers on staff, despite what that Fake News hawker south of the Canuck border whimpers and cries about daily.

Right now as I write this I can call up news items from 1 minute ago from any corner of the world without moving anything other than my arm and fingers. Amazing, huh?

Is it any wonder that our western population as a whole is in adipose collection mode? (In 1978, about 14 per cent of Canadian adults qualified as obese. That number climbed to 28 per cent in 2014- Public Health Agency of Canada)… but I get distracted, another side attraction/horror to the internet.

computer obesity

Physical newspapers don’t carry news anymore – they bring us history.

Each day, a newspaper recounts to us all the things that we already know happened because we read it on our internet feed the day before. Right before we closed our eyes and began snoring!

Truly, The New York Times or Globe and Mail aren’t “newspapers” in 2019.

These are news “sources” that we tap into at any moment of the day or night to discover As The World Turns, both in our personal world (Facebook, Instagram etc) and the larger world.

If there is a newspaper delivered to my house in 10 years, I’ll s**t myself  be shocked out of my solar-powered underwear and AI brainscan-monitored mind.

Reflection.

We will all spend more and more of our coming years reflecting nostalgically on the way things once were. Yes Virginia, it’s inevitable and understandable.

The changes we encounter are/will wash over us at a tsunami pace that thrills and terrifies us simultaneously.

EXTRA! EXTRA!… remember, you read it here first … in the MAN ON THE FRINGE internet news!

NO Fake News here…

Old news 1950

 

 

 

Why is Simple So Hard? E-Mail Hell…

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From: Larry Green
Sent: Sunday, September 2, 2018 06:01 AM
To: Donald J. Trump
Subject: Re: FAKE E-Mails

 

Fake e-mail

What?

I get an e-mail from a friend, relative, or acquaintance at least once a week that is unintelligible. Clipp. Incomple. Non-sensi…

This week I got two in one day.

I’m gonna vent here because … well… maybe because I’m worn down by the smoky haze that hotly raging forest fires have inflicted on this valley for the month of August… or …

… maybe just because I’m sad that summer is winding up already and I’ve barely managed to swim in Okanagan Lake 3 or 4 times.

The trout are sending me soggy letters telling me they miss me.

When I was a young grasshopper, my English teachers pounded into my head the idea … the notion … that when you communicate with anyone, whether written or spoken, you need to remember your 5 W’s and H. Right?

Standard, journalistic stuff. Grammar gold nuggets.

And, if YOU don’t understand the 5 W’s and an H, then you’re probably on my “GD Frustrating Communicators” list.

OK… the 5 W’s are Who, What, Where, Why and When… the H is How.

Yes, I get impatient. Please shoot me in a few years if I start making remakes of Grumpy Old Men. 

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Like many of you out there, I know that there are only so many hours in a day and I want to travel somewhere stunning and exotic in my existence.

Truthfully, I waste a lot of time. My head likes nothing better than to float in the clouds, a lazy glider dipsy-doodling in the updrafts of invisible feathers.

And… if I get to the end of my day… and I feel like I’ve taken even a baby step forward, maybe a tiny 1% improvement in some area of my life, well…  I sleep better.

So, when folks send me an e-mail that’s supposed to help me along in my travels, I don’t want to be stuck in an airport holding lounge because they didn’t take the time or manufacture the thought energy to be clear in what they are saying.

You’re squandering my raindrops of time. Let me fly!

I know you have a wide-open prairie landscape of background and context inside your head, so please open up like a spring wheat kernel and share it with me, OK?

Right, an example.

This week, I got this e-mail from a friend (who hopefully doesn’t read my blog posts!) I play guitar and sing with sometimes:

Well it looks like this Friday night is back on at the request of the Widow …won’t be here 2 weeks down the line.. I’m not really ready for Right Down the Line yet Larry so if you are coming to play this week do your own stuff if not we’ll do it together in two weeks.

OK. Weird grammar aside (I accept punctuation and spelling gaffes in e-mails) I’m scratching my head wondering what’s wrong with me… like,

  1. Who the hell is the “Widow”?
  2. And, who won’t be there in 2 weeks, you or the “Widow”?

Is this message supposed to be encrypted in code so some crazed Nazi won’t intercept and lay waste to the earth?

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Author Ursula le Guin :

two people talking, form a community of two. People are also able to form communities of many, through sending and receiving bits of ourselves and others back and forth continually — through, in other words, talking and listening. Talking and listening are ultimately the same thing.

When you talk (write) to me, we both need to touch… feel… taste… the meaning and emotion of the communication dance. 1,2,3…1,2,3…

A good dance partner is clear in communicating the motion, whether giving or receiving.

Ginger always knew that Fred would be coherent and definite, Fred always knew that Ginger was conveying an equally clear response (even when dancing backwards in high heels!)

I write for a whole host of reasons, some selfish, some altruistic.

I write because words and language are ravishing and elegant and sexy.

I write because I want to understand.

I write because I want to communicate and be understood.

An e-mail message surely shouldn’t be a jigsaw puzzle of jumbled, mismatched pieces that I can’t decipher.

Bottom line…

• Who? All of us. Me included.

• What? Write an e-mail where I can understand your meaning and emotional direction.

• Where? Anywhere. Isn’t e-mail fantastic that way?

• When? All day, everyday.

• Why? So I don’t misunderstand and read your words through my own crazy, warped filter.

• How? Easy. Remember and use your high school 5W’s and H! Voilà!

Simple and yet so hard it seems.

No FAKE News or E-mails here.

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