Posted on December 16, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 59 Comments
Detroit newspapers no longer to have daily delivery. Because nothing makes people want to subscribe to a newspaper more than the idea that not even the people at the paper think what they’ve got to sell is worth reading on a daily basis.
At the very least, if the two newspapers in the city are going to decide not to deliver daily, couldn’t they have decided to deliver every other day, and have one paper deliver on the day the other doesn’t?
Gaaaah. So stupid. Newspapers used to be where smart people worked. I wonder what happened to that.
Have you given any thought to the Christian Science Monitor going entirely paperless? It was already a rather different paper (with advertising restrictions and US mail delivery), so the two changes are not the same.
I do think it’s a different situation in that case, and I hope it works out for the CSM. To be clear, I hope the Detroit papers manage to make it through too, but I really don’t think this is the way to do that.
The Internet. And news distributors such as the AP and Reuters.
Well, people generally being stupid hurt them more, probably — people tend to prefer to watch TV to reading the paper.
More people read the Friday and Sunday papers than the other days. So that’s why they’re dropping to only half the week.
Personally, I tried to drop my subscription to a local paper down to Sundays only — I did this because they were too conservative in their editorial pages for me, and I wasn’t reading it any longer. Instead, I read Salon.com and various blogs for most of my news, periodically checking cnn.com as well.
And I said “I tried to” because shortly after that, they decided to give me the other six days of the week for free. Because the circulation number they can then quote to their advertisers is better for them than the cost of the paper.
I tend to think that cutting to “3-a-week” delivery is incredibly *dumb,* whereas doing what the CSM did (and what PC Magazine is doing, too) is incredibly *smart.*
It all reminds me of that first jump in the Matrix. You just have to freaking believe. And hope the concrete is bouncy.
Have they considered the fundamental difference between daily and not-daily?
Once the newspaper is no longer a daily, it is no longer the place people go to for news and it is no longer really a newspaper.
Are they throwing away what little claim to relevance that they had or recognizing reality? Did most people switch to getting their daily news from TV decades ago?
Is there some population, perhaps the people who find TV news too moronic to watch, that provided the last bastion of support for the newspapers and which they have now lost to the internet?
Are these papers positioning themselves as a source with more depth than TV, or are they just waiting for everyone to be sent home and the doors to be locked for the last time?
I’m not sure what the point is of subscribing to a daily newspaper if I don’t actually _get_ a daily paper.
But .. I’m not their target audience – I’ve not had a newspaper subscription since, oh, 1994.
My “local” newspaper (from a city an hour’s drive away) has dumbed-down its content over the past few years, listing articles on the back of the front page, heavily promoting its electronic format (Dispatch.com), and conflating arts and entertainment and sports and business, while hiding the science news in the middle of the metro section once a week. Soon I’ll hardly care if it does suspend delivery, except that I’d prefer to eat cereal with newsprint on the table, rather than my laptop.
Newspapers changed their customers. Instead of delivering content to readers, they deliver eyeballs to advertisers.
What really confuses me about that decision is that the two papers are under the same management. It would seem to me to be smarter to just merge the papers into one.
On a related note, my parents, who reside in a town of 3,000, wer just told that the only daily paper in the county was going to delivery by mail for Monday – Thursday service.
MBAs, that’s what happened.
The local newspaper (the Christchurch Press) has been in an escalating downward spiral of quality for the past decade or so, becoming ever more provincial and increasingly lowering its reading age. At this point it’s little more than a more locally-focused version of TV news – which is to say, a collection of opinionated sound bytes strung together by editorial bias.
I stopped reading it in 2004 and so, and these days about the only news at all which I follow is the “breaking news” box on Wikipedia’s main page. I seem to manage fine on that and news filtered through word of mouth.
Smart people don’t stay at jobs that look like they’re going nowhere.
Wow. I used to live near Detroit (as a kid in the 80’s). Sad to see the shape of things there.
Earlier this year, the Free Press unilaterally slashed distributors at a distance (I’m in Niles, from the other side of the state) and I got a very abrupt, we are cutting you off, in the middle of my library’s institutional subscription. Since then, I’ve had to explain the cost structures in getting a paper mailed to us via a serials distributor is just no longer cost effective. At least they refunded me the balance of my subscription. Pissed me off for a few days, but really, it has had little to no effect on news availability, except with the aforementioned complainers, who were as far as I could tell, transplants that wanted the comfort of a home town paper.
I think it’s a smart idea. In theory the deal with The Christian Science Monitor and PC Magazine seems better, but the things people still buy newspapers for-comics, coupons, puzzles, and sports pages, have all moved the bulk of their content to the weekend editions. So I subscribe to the Freep for the weekend and get my big ass Sunday paper with the comics and the coupons and the ads, and then I go online during the week to get my daily content. That way the signifigant ad revenue coming from the weekend papers can support printing the weekend paper while the miniscule ad revenue coming from the online daily issues can support the minimum operating costs of the online issue.
Newspapers can never go completely digitial for the near future because the only good ad money they get is from the Sunday printed papers.
An excellent blog concerning the state of newspapering (and its more-interesting-than-you’d-think relation to the history of department stores in the USA) is “That’s the Press, Baby”: davisullblog.blogspot.com.
I stopped reading the local newspaper when the stories were all old because of my reading them on the web. Now these papers are going to “compete” by coming out LESS often?
I also have changed from daily delivery to Sunday only. The dailies just stacked up or told me what I had already read on the ‘net.
But the Sunday paper is something of an “event” with us as my wife and I divide it according to our interests and read it together on Sunday mornings.
But as a sign of the times, they have started leaving us TWO bundles, one bagged bundle that is the actual paper, and another bagged bundle that is all of the advertisements. Unfortunately the “paper” is half as thick as the “advertisements”.
Am I the only one who likes the idea of a smaller newspaper? The only thing that the local newspaper does that I can’t get elsewhere (and better) is local, investigative reporting. I’d be willing to pay good money for that, but except in (*maybe*) New York that isn’t a daily thing. Even in a city Miami’s size that is only a couple days a week, probably less.
Or to put it another way- I assume local papers are 90% crap. If by moving to three days a week, I now get nearly 1/4 good stuff and only 3/4 crap, then I’m more likely to buy. Granted, this assumes the paper can separate good from crap, but that is a different problem than the one Scalzi is focusing on…
“Gaaaah. So stupid. Newspapers used to be where smart people worked. I wonder what happened to that.”
We got smart and left.
Mind, only speaking from layout/graphic design chair, here, but I’ll never work for another newspaper, local or otherwise. I’ve had my fill of that trainwreck.
It’s going to be difficult for me to not dance on newspapers’ graves.
Or to put it a different way: the newspapers have got one thing that is scarce- good, local investigative reporting. But no newspaper has ever had enough of that to justify daily delivery of it.
Everything else is plentiful and more conveniently available in other places, so why should I pay money to have that stuff delivered every day, with the occasional gold nugget of real local reporting?
Richard @# 8: Newspapers have been in the business of delivering eyeballs to advertisers since Ben Franklin published the Pennsylvania Gazette. And they’ve struggled with profitability since Benjamin Harris published the Publick Occurances.
I assume those are the only days that have inserts, and they’re just admitting that the inserts are the main reason to get home delivery?
I fully expect in the next few years for a number of papers to make that explicit, and basically get rid of most of their local coverage and just run wire stories around inserts. They’re most of the way there now I think.
Talk about “dead man walking.” Why would anyone subscribe to the print version of a newspaper when they can get the online version for free? I get the Washington Post and the New York Times delivered to my computer every morning at 4:30 am. I don’t have to pay for it, or wait for it, and I don’t have to schlep down to the lobby to pick it up. The L.A. Times, the Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail (Canada) and The Times (London) all have online versions. So do Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books. The print media has a choice — go completely digital (like the Christian Science Monitor), or go broke.
Jeanne @ 7, my local paper is just as bad. The only reason I keep getting it? My kids read it. Really. And not just the comics and sports. They like the (limited) science coverage. My teenager loves the op ed page.
They also take great delight in pointing out typos and other errors.
There is a limit on how much screen time my kids get, and I like to have the paper, not the laptop, on the table at breakfast. Once my youngest is in HS, we will stop the paper.
My DH and I read the NYT, Washington Post and The London Times online. I email links to my kids if I see something they may find interesting.
A week ago, my newspaper cut the NY Times Crossword puzzle (one the primary draws for me). A couple months before that they cut the op-ed page to half its size, moving the other half of the content online. I’m frustrated. I’m getting less and less paper for my money. So I’m changing my subscription to Sunday only. I would have been happy to pay for a daily newspaper forever, but I’m essentially being forced online. Little by little, they’re moving their content online and removing it from the paper version.
Since both papers are managed by the same partnership -delivering one paper on days X, Y and Z, and the other paper on days U, V and W probably wouldn’t cut down as much on delivery expenses. They probably share delivery trucks.
Since both papers are owned by different conglomerates, I’m not sure they could have been ‘merged’ as one.
They do say they are going to focus on their internet presence, suggesting they will be updating that daily. (Like the CSM is doing). They just aren’t giving up entirely on the print vehicle yet.
As someone who doesn’t subscribe to a daily print newspaper, but does get news daily online, I understand the switchover to an internet-based paper. And I also comprehend the desire to maintain a printed paper for those customers who haven’t made the transition to online yet. (And the weekend papers probably have the larger readership.)
Which website should I use to line my daughters rabbit cage?
I guess there’s still plenty of junk mail.
Fiona @# 25: My 14yo asked for a subscription to the NY Times for a holiday present. I’m just happy it wasn’t the Wall Street Journal.
@Sean Eric Fagan:
Oh yeah, because that place is FULL of smart people…
Is Detroit still losing on average a 1,000+ people per month?
Years ago I cut down from daily paper to Sunday paper.
Actually *getting* the Sunday paper turned out to be a hassle. Because fewer people were subscribing to papers, paper routes were becoming more spread out. They were handled by adults with cars, doing an ill-paid marginal job, rather than a kid on a bike who could just bike round his/her neighborhood throwing a paper on every doorstep. The ill-paid people forgot my paper, forgot to show up, or threw my paper down the stairwell onto my neighbor’s doorstep (I live in an unsecured condo). Or, my paper would be stolen by passersby. At least that’s what the circulation people said, swearing up and down that the paper had in fact been delivered.
I got tired of the hassle and tired of trying to recycle the newsprint and cancelled. I can’t say that I miss the Sunday paper at all.
I missed good local news coverage. I read the local paper daily, online, but all they seem to provide is recycled press releases.
luis… the Seattle Times is reducing that very thing. Gardening news? gone. Wine and book news? Gone (keep in mind that Washington produces more wine than any other state aside from CA and the population reads a LOT). And they’re keeping… national and international news and other things I can get in a lot of other places.
And that’s the root of it – most older media is still stuck in the mid-29th century mindset that they’re the one place people get news while most of us actually hear and read the major stories of the day in a lot of different places. Newspapers aren’t alone in this – NPR does it, the BBC does it, TV does it. I do NOT need to hear about Iraq or the economy 18 times a day. If all of the major news media is talking about the same few stories then once I’ve gotten the gist of the news, I’m done. Especially when the stories are depressing, I just turn the other news sources off.
Local newspapers should have an edge as I’m not going to read about local wines in the NY Times, see most local sports news on ESPN or learn much about NW businesses from Forbes. If they can’t figure that out, they don’t deserve to survive.
“The print media has a choice — go completely digital (like the Christian Science Monitor), or go broke.”
It’s not that easy though. People won’t pay for online content and ad rates are currently such that they don’t deliver the same revenue per reader. While going all digital is cheaper in the delivery sense, the cost of actually having reporters and editors doing all of that reporting and editing is the same. WE need to either see higher ad rates, have people willing to pay for content or drastically cut the actual amount of reporting that papers do.
I suspect it will be choice #3, rick@34. Most papers already don’t do very much original reporting, probably much less than 10% of their actual content, maybe less than 5%.
Oh, there will be special cases where you can charge for online content. The WSJ probably can for as long as they want to, and other specialized newspapers probably could as well.
But your general purpose small city newspaper? It’s going to be down to basically nothing but an editor picking wire stories and stories by local stringers getting paid on a per-article basis. The job Print Reporter will join the list of extinct professions.
I get my news online all day, and I go to local papers online for any local content I want to read about. I’m sick of the Trib calling me every other day begging me to get a physical paper because they’re hemorrhaging money. They should all switch to online, with one physical Sunday paper, maybe. Save the cost of telemarketers. Industries change. It happens. The only thing wrong with Detroit plan is maybe that it only goes half-way.
As for combining the papers or filling each other’s gaps… the Free Press is liberal and the News is conservative. Different readerships, even if 99% of the content is the same, day to day. There are few who read both (like my 4th grade teacher, who was a freak who read like 5 papers all the way through every day… there’s such a thing as over-informed, I think).
At least the Freep has a good website. My current local paper, the Wilmington News-Journal, has the shittiest website in the history of ever–and they’re owned by the same company that owns the Freep and use the same CMS. I don’t get it.
Like Rick#33, I’m appalled at the cuts in the Seattle papers (the Times and the PI, “separate” companies, but they come together on Sunday). They have fired almost all the critics, except maybe the movie person. My daily paper is three sections now. National/international new/business, local new/arts/comics, sports. They fired the political cartoonist. Hell, they can’t even be bothered to publish the letters to the editor, and those are free!
Getting the paper delivered is part of being at ‘home’ for me (it’s also an important gauge of road conditions in the ‘winter’), but if it weren’t for the free local weekly papers (the Stranger and the Seattle Weekly) I wouldn’t know anything about food, arts, music, and the flaming liberal scene.
It’s not really one of those things where you can say “you have made to many budget cuts, so you can’t have my money either” and really expect anything to change. Maybe they’ll finally admit that the weeklies are sufficient “other viewpoint” and finally merge the Times and the PI. I know some people think it’s really important to have two news papers in a city (that’s how you know it’s a big city) but I’d rather have one robust paper than two weenies.
I don’t get it. Salt Lake is 1/4 th the size of Detroit. But we have two competing newspapers that are both healthy, and both deliver 7 days a week. They also both have large on-line editions, but that doesn’t seem to be destroying the paper version.
I still have a subscription with daily delivery of one of the local newspapers (there are two), because I couldn’t get the local news from tv or the web and in this way I can read it before I go to work.
For the national and international news I usually check the websites of a couple of Italian national newspapers, and those of Le Monde, The Guardian, The Independent and the New York Times.
It’s a logical step. Most of their subscribers were only getting the paper three days a week anyway. This way they can concentrate on their core strengths – finding news to report on – and go the way of all publishing: On-line.
The big Detroit papers have already been displaced at both ends: The national news is covered by the NY Times, etc.; the local news is covered by small, community-centered papers. The middle is going away.
This way they can be more magazine-style, with in-depth reporting, rather than trying to fill all those column-inches every day.
The fact that the classified advertising – which is the main source of funds for most newspapers – has shrunk is probably driving this decision. I just checked; the “Career Builder” section was four pages – one sheet of paper – and had no meaningful ads. There were seven sections of car ads – but each section had that same four pages (except one section that had six). The real estate section was similar, and this is in an area with hundreds of thousands of houses for sale. I’m guessing that between Monster, Craigslist and Realtor.com, folks aren’t looking in the classifieds anymore.
I hope that some sort of investigative news agency survives, but it won’t be in the sort of newspaper we’ve known for the past hundred years.
On the plus side, think of all the trees we’ll save; but on the downside, the forestry industry probably isn’t happy about this either.
11. Fletcher: You should also check out Wikinews. Like Wikipedia’s newsbox, but with all news. ;)
From all the comments here and my own wishes, I suspect there is a market for delivered, daily, local, small newspapers. But it will probably take some enterprising NEW people to do that.
We have a fair amount of homeless folk who rely on newsprint for insulation.
Two things: 1) Detroit is absolutely the epicenter of the national economic crisis. This is not the only crazy stuff going on in Detroit, not by a long shot, so this doesn’t suprise me much. If you drive through the city center, it looks post apocalyptic. Detroit is a dysfunctional city. 2) Another reason it doesn’t suprise me–in 2007 I wrote an article for them and was promised $150. I was never able to get paid, in spite of repeated queries and jumping through many hoops. Eventually, I gave up. To my mind, total collapse of both newspapers and wedgies all around would be completely fair recompense for stiffing a freelancer.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has taken hits in the last few months as well. Back in the fall I started a weekend + subscription (thursday-sunday) mainly to get the Thursday food ads and the Sunday paper and ads.
Then they started changing things, combined with an 8% RIF (read 80+ jobs lost) and combining departments. The Sunday classifieds – you don’t really want a job, do you? Four-five pages of mostly display ads, no real leads to speak of. Buy a home? forgetaboutit. Car…well, maybe.
And then they messed with the SUNDAY COMICS!!! Is nothing sacred?
My subscription expired a couple weeks ago. Yes, I miss Sunday delivery, and I really LIKE a paper on Sunday. So if I don’t run out Sunday morning, or pick up the early edition on Saturday afternoon, I don’t have have a Sunday paper.
OH, and their subscription department? They’re trying to reach me by phone, one day it was 10 times, to get me to renew. Yeah, right…not in this lifetime.
Before this past weekend, I literally do not remember the last time I actually saw a real, physical newspaper (this weekend I first stayed with a friend and then got to my parents’ house. My friend’s mother subscribes to the NYT, and my dad subscribes to the Philadelphia Inquirer [ftw!]).
Between the Internet and 24-hour news networks, newspapers really aren’t news anymore, anyway. I mean, by the time newspapers got around to mentioning the World Trade Center had fallen, it was already September 12th (in most cases, give or take).
I think papers do need to rethink that “national/global news” focus. We have two main papers here in Asheville (Western NC). One is a subscription daily (Asheville Citizen-Times) and the other is a free weekly (Mountain Xpress).
The paid daily paper is run by suits and MBA-types, and reads like it. It has recently been dropping staff like room full of wizards on muscle relaxers (one of the local blogs penned by an Xpress news photographer has an almost daily update of who’s laid off and who’s still there), it’s outsourced it’s printing to a sister paper in an entirely different state, it’s increased the newsstand price…and is still losing money to the weekly local-interest paper that nobody pays for.
The Xpress is run by a bunch of local “hippies” who just happen to be very talented and dedicated writers, journalists and photogs (many of which used to work for the daily, including the aforementioned blogger). They cover local stories almost exclusively (city government, state news, local business and news issues, food and entertainment news and profiles, human interest stuff, etc), with occasional locally-spun riffs on national or global stuff like the economy, the election, etc. They have to beat off (local) advertisers with a stick.
We make a point to go out and get one every week, because it has stories and info I can’t get anywhere else (and presents them in a fun, informative and entertaining manner), but we never bother with the daily, since, as has been pointed out, most of the “news” they print today I read online yesterday.
We also get the NYT most days, gratis, thanks to a neighbor who delivers them and always has leftovers that would otherwise just get recycled. And I have to say, the quality of the reporting in the Xpress (and yes, there is hard-core, old school reporting therein and plenty of it) is comparable to anything I’ve read in that esteemed publication. And it keeps getting thicker and more popular as the AC-T evaporates into little more than a smeary placemat featuring yesterday’s news. Additionally, the Xpress also has an online site full of blogs, extras and archives in addition to what’s in the print version.
Amazing publication, one of the best I’ve had the privilege to read. And one that any subscription daily would do well to emulate.
Neither my parents nor I have ever subscribed to a newspaper. Our news has come from online sources since the mid-1990s. Sometimes I’ll pick up a copy of the New York Times (which ASU provides for free) when the cover story looks interesting, but that habit is becoming less frequent.
I was watching an interview with Jon Stewart some years back (I believe it was on CSPAN after the release of America: The Book) and he was saying, more or less that newspapers should try to become more context driven. Or at least that’s what I took away from it. Okay… found it.
When I think about it, that’s really probably the only way newspapers can survive. Cable News and the Internet are so immediate there’s no way a newspaper can own any part of the “breaking news” market. They simply can’t “break” news anymore. Everyone knows by the time they pick up tomorrow’s paper.
Newspapers need to adopt the idea that they are the providers of context. Which, I would suppose is something they are much more able to do than the Cable News Networks (and to a lesser extent the internet) simply because of the permanence of their medium. There’s still something palpable about seeing a physical piece of writing in front of you that makes it seem more “official.”
They should hire experts to write about currents events from a historical and educated perspective, that makes us feel like “Yes, I can see how this event followed from this, and this trend created this.” They should be the venue of research and continuity that keeps events in order.
I think there’s a strong way for newspapers to play on the fact that they’re regional. Unless you have a national business, advertising in a national venue isn’t necessarily helpful to your business. There’s also the fact that the Cable News networks aren’t ever going to report on anything in your area if it isn’t worthy of making the headlines. I know that isn’t as great as the days when a newspaper was the only place you could sell advertising, but at least it’s an idea.
I don’t know, I guess like most people I’m just curious to see what the future holds for print media.
Media news cuts have been going on for years, so along with electronic alternatives, the quality isn’t the same as the used to be, so some people will realise that and stop buying, too.
“We’re cutting staff 10%”
“Hmm, that means you won’t be able to do as good a job, generally speaking, doesn’t it?” Is what a lot of people will think, despite the management/owner protestations to the contrary.
One of the big problems I’ve heard is that US newspapers have been pursuing frankly unsustainable, double-digits profits. And one of the ways they’ve been able to reach those, to satisfy the owners, is to cut ruthlessly back on the staff.
Which means you get worse writing, less background checking, and articles focused on providing what the owners think the public wants, instead of what the public needs.
Which, of course, leads to bad newspapers, bad circulation, and more problems in maintaining the profit margins…
(Also, the inevitable demise of newspapers isn’t nearly as inevitable as US-based commentators often seem to think. AFAIK, the Finnish newspapers are still doing quite well.)
Print journalism was doomed the day they announced Weekly World News (aka “the hot sheets”) was going under.
Today, WWN. Tomorrow, the New York Times.
I gather from the above that each US paper handles its own house delivery. I guess here there is an advantage to the UK model – Britain is small enough that we have more than 10 national newspapers, printed centrally and shipped to newsagents all over the country overnight. Newsagents – I don’t know if it is a UKian-only term but they’re just shops that also sell cards, alcohol, tobacco, sweets, some food, stationery, lottery tickets and so on – sell newspapers in store but also handle the door-to-door distribution, certainly out in the more rural areas.
So you tend to “subscribe” with the newsagent, and the deliverer has a bag of all sorts of different titles – The Times, The Sun, The Guardian &c (plus the local paper & any TV listings magazine or comic book subscribed to) – to push through the letterbox (only the fattest Sunday efforts are left on the doorstep). So you might be the only Guardian reader in the village but will still get your paper delivered.
You know, I think it’s about time newspapers tried something different.
Sadly, I’ve become rather anti-newspaper in recent years, largely because there are so few entertaining writers left. Yes, I know news isn’t supposed to be entertaining, but frankly, why would I read anything that actively bores me? AP writing-style lacks anything resembling readability to me these days. I guess I’m the generation will really kill print.
Not that a lot of on-line news is much better, but at least there are other voices that make things interesting.
Now, the idea of a Sunday Paper, Three Times a Week (which is how one of their people put it on NPR yesterday) isn’t a bad one if they can pull it off. Making it seem special might make the Detroit papers something people will want to read
What happened to newspapers? Other than the internet, two words:
Natalie @ #37, you said it.
I stopped the WNJ in October 2007 because of the Gannettization [or USATodayification] of the news.
That and their changing the comix by dropping some of my favorite titles was the last straw. Now I use old telephone directories to aid in lighting my wood-burning stove fires.
I knew several reporters over the last two decades and most of the good ones left [or died]. Al Mascetti told them to go yank it when the management delivered an ultimatum of leaving WDEL or losing his job.
Jeff Montgomery and Esteban Parreta, their top environmental investigative and their top criminal/legal reporters, respectively, have been slowly disenfranchised or devalued.
They just eliminated something like 45 positions at the paper.
eBay and Craigslist are killing them in advertising sales.
Obits are now all paid revenue generators.
The one thing I wanted from newspapers was cogent and thorough coverage.
But just as the publishing industry is purging its staff and, in some instances, ordering a cessation of acquisitions, the print journalism industry has been alienating its mainstay customer — the literate Joe or Jane Average — to appeal to the alliterate/TV-watching consumers who only want to check for apartments or used cars.
I forget which SF writer who in the last year or two recounted his [or her] experience as a college creative writing teacher where, in asking his traditional warm-up/familiarization question to the class of which authors/books were the students’ favorites or most inspirational, found that the majority of the students could not name any because did not read books for pleasure, but were only in the class so they could learn to how to write scripts to sell to Hollywood.
This was the lesson Ray Bradbury tried to imbue in Fahrenheit 451: we as a society are endangering civilization by jettisoning the difficult engagement of our imaginations via the written word, instead enclosing ourselves in the easily distracting, visceral images and sounds that isolate and diminish us in our human interactions.
I’m not opposed to selling soap, paintbrushes, or cars, but feeding generations on such premasticated pap ensures the newspapers and publishers will have effectively starved the necessary core population of those who desire to sink one’s teeth into the raw meat and will, therefore, grow strong to carry on the hunt into the darkness.
Harrison Bergeron, here we come!
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I like your memorial day review.