Oh for crap’s sake.
The New York Times just decided that reading words is passé. The future of the internet is audio and video. Even for a simple little blog like mine.
That means … well, that means, oh hell, you’re already gone, aren’t you?
I’m just sitting in this blog all by myself, tapping out worthless words on a worthless keyboard counting …
The days ’til pitchers and catchers report. Three.
The number of starting pitchers that the Orioles have on their roster. Two.
And, the number of people reading these words. One.
Just you, I’m afraid.
Qwerty, not so purty. (Poetry – even bad poetry — is screwed now, too, I guess.)
Sure, it’s ironic that The New York Times had to inform me that reading is dead using … actual written words.
Oh, for crap’s sake.
Or, as you wordless people say …
What can I do to make you love reading again?
Or, just letters.
Like the letter K.
K is one of the alphabet’s resident hoodlums. Look at it slouched there lazy against its own wall – a street tough – sticking its leg out, just waiting to trip a non-suspecting sweet p, flipping it over into a d.
K is both letter, word, and complete sentence.
How could there be 40,105 strike outs last season – an MLB record – without 40,105 K’s?Embed from Getty Images
No more letters. No more Ks. No more backward Ks either.
When I was in junior high I filled up notebook covers while carefully developing two distinct signatures.
An upright formal “me” for signing important things on dotted lines.
And, a sporty name for notes to friends and autograph-seekers.
This was not slap-dash. This was serious.
Now, it’s all wasted.
No one wants letters. No one wants words.
No one wants my autograph.
Sporty and Fun.
Is this what it’s like to get old? Watching young people spit on things you think are important? Things that you love?
Sports Illustrated has cut back from weekly to bi-weekly. The magazine recently – correctly – used actual words to call curling one of the “most fun” Winter Olympics sports to watch. This makes their publication cutback even more heartbreaking.
If there are any Washington Nationals fans reading, I’m also sorry to report that Nats catcher Raudy Read – the only man named Read to ever play in the majors – was suspended 80 games last week for failing a drug test. So, in your case, yes, I guess Read’ing let you down.
Raudy Read apparently didn’t read the part about drug tests in his contract.
Should I have uploaded this into a podcast for you so you could enjoy it without having to fill your eyes with annoying lettery-wordy lines, curls, and Oxford commas?
(I am bluffing. I have no freaking idea how to upload a podcast. Is it like radio?)
Stupid internet and your word-killing.
But, maybe this is just déjà vu all over again.
Did the ancient Egyptians whine that words were destroying hieroglyphics?
(Chin up, King Tut, they’re back and they’re called emojis.)
Internet, you’re not the first word-killer.
Sports, Cars, & Dancing Tried To Kill Reading, Too. 1928
And, Don’t Forget Film & Radio. 1925
Radio was going to destroy more than just reading. It was going to destroy everything.
Look at everything radio was going to destroy. (Warning: Words Ahead!)
Theater, 1925 …
… and Theatre, too.
(I know, George Bernard Show. Thank you for catching that.)
Folk Songs, 1928. (Sorry, Bob Dylan, there will be nothing to inspire you.)
It’s just going to ruin everything, 1932.
Newspapers, 1938. This crazy story said that there was going to be this gadget — called a fascimile machine — that every home would have. This fascimile machine — fax, for short — would send the news through radio waves to the machine which would print words out on paper. Fax machines. Just crazy.
Alarm Clocks, 1938. (Let me explain this one — apparently new-fangled 1938 radios could wake you up by switching on automatically in the morning. Who needs a noisy alarm when you can have the morning news?)
And, finally …
Minor League Baseball, 1951. Because, who’s going to actually go to a minor league game when they can listen to a big league game on the radio?
Radio would have destroyed everything, too.
Except, television came along and it tried to destroy everything. Including radio.
Television was even going to kill sports, 1947. Which is kinda funny, because sports are the most-watched things on television.
But, teachers taught me to read. And, you too.
Lots of people still read books and newspapers and Sports Illustrated.
I still listen to radio. (Although sometimes I stream it on my phone and I’m a little embarrassed about that.)
Some of us even still read the box scores of baseball games we didn’t watch on TV, even when the video highlights are just a click away.
Babe Ruth’s Debut, July 11, 1914. Don’t bother googling. There’s no video. Just this old box score. Red Sox Pitcher Babe Ruth: 1 K.
So, screw you, internet and your small-minded anti-readingism.
The internet did kill fax machines. I’ll give it that. But, it won’t kill reading.
Let me be clear …
(I know, the internet isn’t reading this. Just you. And, I want you to know that I think you’re great. I love the way your eyes move back and forth across the screen when you read. You have pretty eyes.)
Radio didn’t kill reading. Talkies didn’t kill reading. Television didn’t kill reading. And, neither will you, stupid word-hating internet.
But, just in case … here’s a little review …
Could you do all that again? I couldn’t read it. (snide emoji here)
And on a serious note, that was wonderful. Read on, Read on.
thank you, v! I was thinking of translating the whole thing into emojis, but I don’t think I’m emoji-literate enough!
This just proves you can’t believe everything you read in the New York Times. Only three
more days? Be still my heart!
Three more days for the Orioles to come up with some starting pitchers. This should be fun …
I hope the Reading Fightin’s are OK.
I thought about them … They could become the Scrolling Fighting Phils!
One of my favorite shirts: Read or the Owl Will Eat You.
Ah, you lucky people whose year starts Wednesday. My gang’s pitchers and catchers don’t report until Thursday. And, for those of us whose local papers don’t correspond to our teams, nothing really gets started until the first preseason game. Which is still nearly two weeks away. :-(
Well, for you “pitchers and catchers report” on Thursday. For the Orioles, I’m saying, “pitcher and catchers report” on Wednesday because I’m pretty sure we have one starting pitcher. Actually, we have two. Beyond that … not so sure.
I don’t think reading is going anywhere. The printed page may be disappearing but reading is just moving to screens.
I think you’re right … radio couldn’t kill reading. Neither could television. Internet is tough, but my money’s on reading. :)
And even the Kindle can’t kill books. Ten years ago I bought my first Kindle and I was convinced it was the future of reading. Ten years later there are still more people reading physical books than are reading electronically. But thank God for the internet, otherwise no one would read what you and I write.
I have to confess, I’m baffled. I keep, yes, reading, that the fax machine is an artifact of the distant past, but the one in my office is used constantly, both sending and receiving documents- referrals, insurance documentation, communications of all kinds. I have no idea how we would do without it and, since it works so well, I’m not very motivated to try.
Oh, and yes: first Giants’ pitchers and catchers workout is in three days, with the first full squad workout on the 19th. I’ll do a small, quiet personal celebration, and I probably won’t be able to keep myself from listening to the Spring Training games- fragmented as they sometimes are- when they begin in a few weeks.
It doesn’t start getting serious for another month, though, with the Giants’ Opening Day on the 28th, against the Dodgers, in LA, for Pete’s sake.
For years, I’ve had a private little ceremony of actually standing for the National Anthem on Opening Day. I’m usually a little teary, and feeling a bit silly, standing by the radio. This year, I’m thinking of taking a knee, but I have to ask myself: If a fan kneels (or stands, or just remains seated) in his back yard, and nobody sees him, did it happen?
I don’t think I have to think about that too deeply, though. I’m standing for the game I love, for it’s long history, and to express gratitude that the long wait is over… so, forget about all that stuff. I’ll be standing.
I had a fax machine for years, but abandoned it because it took up space. Now, I just scan and send things via PDF … not quite the same, but I found I was using the fax machine less and less, but still paying for its dedicated phone line, so off it, and the extra phone line, went.
I like your tradition of standing for the National Anthem on Opening Day and listening to the game on the radio. How sweet! How perfect!
The long off-season is nearly over … whew!
LOVE this post. Had to interrupt READING a book to check my email, and found this…. Good for you!
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.” William Faulkner (1897-1962)
Thanks, Lynne! :)
Yeah, screw that noise – what a bunch of nonsense. I’ll read, and read you, till my eyes fall out of my head. Which I imagine (and hope) will not be for a good long time.
awww … thank you! Yay for all of us keyboard-y types. “Types”. Get it? :)
Just finished reading your great blog. Loved every word. Can’t wait for the season to begin already.
We are finally at the point where I think it’s ok to stop counting the days ’til spring training. We can now start counting the hours!
I’m trying to control my enthusiasm- I mean, okay, it’s nice that pitchers (or, in your case, “pitcher”) and catchers are meeting in a few days, but I try not to get excited until players actually take the field and play baseball with each other. That’ll happen, soon enough, as surely as Spring, but some guys tossing the ball around? I’ll restrain myself.
I read the New York Times online everyday. Can’t remember ever watching one of their videos. Maybe I’m passé.
Me, too. But, I don’t think I’ve watched a video either. And, I really don’t like their 360 photographs which just make me sort of dizzy. I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.
More from the (IMO) smug, insufferable NYT – perhaps predicting their demise? Can barely wait for the end of the VOID on the 14th, even though with the loss of Santana, the Twins join the O’s in the land of suspects and prospects. I expect to wear my “Who’s on First “ t-shirt for the occasion. It has no audio accessory- one must read it. Another nice read, Bloggess 😉❤️⚾️
I was hoping that the Twins would keep my beloved dumpling, Bartolo Colon.
Ahh, Who’s On First. I can’t even begin to think of how one would emoji-fy that!
Video killed the radio star! Looks like ull have to become the podcastress. :( stupid internet. I’m with u Jackie! Letters r all we need, words r 2 long.
I’ll write my posts and you can turn them into songs. Then people will listen! Is turning a blog post into a podcast called “podcastration”? Because that doesn’t sound so good.
News flash: The New York Times is wrong.
I hope so. But, boy, things sure have changed in the past few years, which I guess accounts for magazines like Sports Illustrated cutting back and other thoughtfully word-ish places, like Grantland, disappearing completely.
Loved this post! I have to admit I don’t read as much as I used to (and I miss it), but it has nothing to do with the internet.
Thanks, Lisa! Dorothy Parker would have been livid to read that words are dead. She would slam her fist on the table in disgust and order another drink. And, then she would sit down at her manual typewriter and write something to remind us how awesome the written word can be.
There’s no business like show business. Or Shaw business. Or something. I can report that my poetry blog is down in readership by about 70% over what in used to get. Perhaps my series on Sanskrit war haiku couldn’t compete with doggo memes. I know I’d even rather read doggo memes. Nonetheless, Shay’s Word Garden is my baby, with all the good stuff on it (as opposed to Coal Black’s House of Pain, which is written in character, as a lark.) Well anyway.
I find it intensely annoying when trying to read an article on line about, for example, my Tigers’ blasphemous new home uni’s, to have an unwanted and unsolicited automatic video pop up and start loudly trying to sell me stuff before showing interviews I don’t want to hear because I AM TRYING TO READ HERE, TYVM.
Box scores. ~sniffle~ I really miss them, laid out on a single page so i can see them all without clicking hither and yon. As a munchkin, my father–out of sons and desperate–bought his baseball crazy daughter a subscription to The Sporting News, the “Baseball Bible.” While it would have probably been a good thing had radio done in preachers, this was a bible I could believe in. I poured over those box scores and pretty much every word from cover to cover. Of course, TSN caved to the Great Devourer, football, and then crumbled altogether. Life is not the same. I never likes Sports Illustrated much. They accentuate the sports I like least–that is to say not at all–like footbore, basketball, golf and boxing, at the expense of baseball. Don’t even bring up my distant second favorite, ice hockey–I don’t think they know it exists except to harrumph in its general direction once in a blue moon. And pro bowling, well, it has gone the way of the horse and buggy, or the fax machine. I sit alone, clutching my (figurative) pearls and (actual) poetry volumes, weeping brokenly over the demise of things I love. But see? I have written about it. In words. In response to your words. Rage on.
Ahhh … a Tigers fan! I am hoping that Artie Lewicki appears on your pitching roster, and in your box scores, again this season. Feel free to post your blog URLs here … I’d love to drop by … I still read, too! :)
I’m here! I’m reading! I’m old! (But I can’t bear to think I’m so old that I’m the last of humankind’s readers of actual words-gasp!). Keep writing.
Hi Wendy … Maybe writing will not so much disappear as go underground. Then it can be the secret language of the cool people and everyone else will be left to wonder, “What are they doing, why are their eyes moving, and why do they seem so content?” I love reading the words you write, too. Carry on!
Cool now, cool in the future, that is us, all right! I would return the c
Type much, Wendy? I will return the compliment over and over!
good post..i love books..maybe these idiots are saying that reading is dead because they cant read and understand what they read without someone telling them what they read?
You could be right! Reading could become a secret language — just for the cool people. Everyone else will say that reading is dead because they can’t read, but the cool people will know better. :)