I’m behind on my e-mail. Funny how that happens. You get caught up, spend a day slacking and then, boom. At times I like this I remember the stories I’ve read about e-mail amnesty declarations, in which one purges the in-box and washes one’s hands. I also think of the early days of the fax machine, when the librarians (which is where our newsroom kept its main fax) would hand-deliver faxes to your desk the moment they arrived. Within six months they had installed a mailbox setup, and you picked up your own. And six months after that, the boxes were clogged with restaurant takeout menus and entries for some guy in the sports department’s NCAA pool.
E-mail’s getting like that. Now everyone wants to send you text messages, at 20 cents per. Wonderful. Something you have to type with your thumbs, can’t be much more than a few phrases and costs half as much as a letter sent via U.S. Mail. We’re always figuring out a way to do things better, aren’t we?
On the other hand, I’m always amazed, whenever a new communication technology emerges, how swiftly we figure out what it’s good for, which niche it fills. A text is perfect for a certain sort of message, e-mail for another. We even agree, sort of, on the etiquette of when one has violated the code somehow, how breaking up with someone via text or voice mail is tacky (and how sending takeout menus via fax should be).
However, the e-mail I have to return is from my BFF, with whom I’ve had a years-long correspondence, and deserves better than Im awesome!!!! on her phone.
So hang on, Deb, all will be revealed, eventually.
I’m trying very hard not to be upset by the news lately, but then I wonder: Isn’t denial of this sort a one-way ticket to the Stress-Related Ailments ward? Isn’t [Samuel Jackson voice] great vengeance and furious anger [ / Samuel Jackson voice] the logical, normal reaction to recent events? I thought I had it tamped down, and then Gretchen Morgenson, the NYT business reporter/columnist, was on “Fresh Air” yesterday — stream it here — and it came roaring back. “Why should I believe people who were lying to me five minutes ago?” she asked, quite reasonably, and it was all I could do not to load all the garden implements into the back of the car and set a course for Washington. Instead, I took a shower and wondered if I have the privilege of witnessing the end of the American era. I think so. It’s pretty clear the future belongs to our Chinese brothers, and our next part is to be the Fading Empire Rife with Corruption, Clinging to Outdated Ritual.
I just hope I can get a job. I hope the fading empire needs a few writers.
Which, before I set to work catching up on e-mail, seems as good a place as any to transition to the bloggage:
LGM’s Paul Campos in the Rocky Mountain News, on what Wall Street and the Detroit Lions have in common. Relax, it’s semi-amusing and not angry at all. (BTW, Fox Sports is reporting Matt Millen’s been fired.)
Suzanne Vega tells a few of the many stories behind “Tom’s Diner,” an a capella pop oddity that was influential far beyond its do-do-do-dos.
Hey, Detroiters, look what Matty Moroun’s up to now. Go down to Riverside Park and take some pictures. (Amusingly, when we did our film challenge last summer, this was the park where most of the teams got their obligatory Ambassador Bridge shots. Bastard.)
Off to work I go.