Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
- John Donne
In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "As Time Goes Bye" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/as-time-goes-bye.html), Maureen Dowd reminisces over her prior employment at Time Magazine and reflects upon this journal's imminent demise:
"Even then, it struck me that newsmagazines were doomed, with the strange bifurcation of reporters who were not allowed to write and writers who were not allowed to report. I reckoned the genre had a few years at most. When Time named the computer the Machine of the Year for 1982, we were still writing on typewriters.
. . . .
It will be good if this moment provokes a reckoning about what really needs to be preserved in the culture, about what is valuable.
. . . .
Digital platforms are worthless without content. They’re shiny sacks with bells and whistles, but without content, they’re empty sacks."
Is it only Time Magazine facing its end, or is it much of the publishing industry? What about newspapers? What about books? As a society do we still read, or are we preoccupied with Facebook and narcissistic indulgence?
What "really needs to be preserved in the culture"? Can or should government make that choice?
Can "content" save a newspaper? More specifically, can the current leftist cant of The New York Times, combined with digital subscriptions and its dalliance with anti-Semitism, save it from extinction? Could its loyalty to the Obama administration ultimately win it some sort of bail out?
Have we become a society without "substance," having elected a know-nothing president with an electric smile, who has surrounded himself with a cabinet comprising the worst and the dumbest?
Sorry to be grim, but that bell is tolling for all of us. As for that which will emerge from the ashes, it is not at all apparent to me.