Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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If The New Yorker Isn't Published on Paper, Put Me on an Ice Floe

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There’s a video interview with David Remnick at BigThink.com; Women’s Wear Daily did a wrapup. In the interview, Remnick talks about (among other things) an intriguing lunch conversation he had with Roger Angell, and the future of print:
Remnick also spoke at length about the survival of newspapers. “I think newspapers are going to be with us in one form or another. They may just be completely on a screen. And if they’re not, I’m conservative enough to think that’s a gigantic tragedy….And all that said, I couldn’t care less if it’s no longer on paper. I mean, I have an atavistic affection for that, but even I at 49 see this as semiludicrous.”

But he contrasted his own predicament with that of newspaper editors, speculating: “The best technology so far for reading a 14,000-word piece might be that thing you roll up, shove into your bag and take with you on the train that you can’t with the Web. I don’t see many people reading long New Yorker pieces on a PDA in the subway, or on commuter trains or airplanes.” He added, “Now if you told me in 50 years The New Yorker won’t be on paper, I wouldn’t be shocked. I’d be sad, maybe. I don’t think that’s [going to be] the case but, again, prediction is the lowest form of human endeavor.”
By then I’ll be pretty old, anyway…oog. Say it ain’t so! Maybe that flexi-digital paper everyone’s trying to perfect—I guess I could live with that. Where are my smelling salts?

Speaking of newspapers and doom, from a story about the just-folded Cincinnati Post:
Greg Paeth, a talented and versatile reporter who’s worked a number of beats at both Posts since 1974, will turn 60 in August. What are his plans?

“My smart-ass answer is that I’m going to be devoting myself full-time to the New Yorker cartoon caption contest,” he said. “The real answer is I’m going to be job hunting. I don’t want to retire. I really want to do something. It’s a strange thing. On Tuesday or Wednesday (after the paper closes) you’re tempted to think of the stories you’re going to be working on, and all of a sudden you realize you’re not going to be doing that.”
Don’t lose heart, Greg! Start a blog about something you love, but make sure you sell ads from the get-go! Finally, in the L.A. City Beat, Chris Morris writes of Jonathan Gould, author of the October book Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America (Harmony):
It has been left to Gould, a first-time author using secondary sources exclusively, to pen the most brainy and insightful Beatles history to date. The author, a trained drummer, has made the book his life’s work: Its first editor, The New Yorker’s William Shawn, died 15 years ago. His labor and sheer chutzpah have paid off in monumental fashion.
Which makes me think of that John Colapinto piece about Paul McCartney, “When I’m Sixty-Four.” Not yet online, but someday it will be. Before I’m sixty-four, I trust, and well before magazines aren’t printed on paper. Right? Yikes!


I already regularly read my TNY on my cell phone screen on the subway and in my favorite noodle bar while having lunch when my paper version is late arriving. I have no problem with it.

On the other hand, I am one of the first people to have downloaded books onto black and white Palm Pilot screens years and years ago. So I may just be one of those pioneers.

Basically, I’ll read what I want and when I want, whatever I have to do! :)

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