Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thoughts on Provisionality

Is first person "blogging" actually journalism? I'm a journalist, but I would never claim my blog as a legitimate form of journalism. Hence my struggle with terms likened to "arts journalism." And, hence my struggle with the realm of arts education with which I am currently acquainted.


I cannot tell you how frustrating it is NOT holding my subscription to Blackhawks Magazine in my hands. Or the New York Times Magazine. Or a real live book. The computer screen's brightness can kill the appeal of great design - meant for print. Untouchable, unreachable. We can also blog about our person, in the most personal of ways. And maybe that's part of the reason the overnight uproar against SOPA and PIPA snowballed so quickly. Half of Internet users seemed in a panic because they believed their precious emotional invincibility on the World Wide Web was ultimately threatened. In the end, it was a power struggle between the web and Hollywood, not to mention the government and the people.


Sometimes, it's unsettling when I think about how much time I spend staring at a screen, in one day. I ask myself the same question these same days: Remember the time when Ella Fitzgerald didn't have the Internet and she was (and is still is) the best? But then I proceed to enter her name in Google search, YouTube her videos (man, it's a verb, now), and enter an online library to view electronic books about her music.

Of course, here I am blogging (sort of emotionally) about how much I loathe the fact that Blogger and Youtube, and Twitter are creating a new "Golden Age" of journalism. I might be getting it all wrong, misunderstanding and/or forgetting the good things that the web is doing for great writers - and journalists - all over the world.

But at the end of the day, when all I've done is read words, peruse photos, and watch videos from a giant expanding universe of digital information (often misleading, untrustworthy), I just close the "window." Then, thank the Lord, I can get some real fresh air by opening a real one.

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