Friday, September 18, 2009
Jay Leno, less than a minute ago: "And today is the 158th anniversary of the New York Times. Sad thing is, I read about that online."
Gordon Chang on the future of all business is less poignant but more compelling.
David Brooks, you probably never heard of him, wrote an op ed the other day where he put those engaged in the popular revolt against the President's health care package and out of control spending, next to previous populist agitations led by Huey Long and William Jennings Bryan--'Glen Beck'. He characterized those movements as being mainly white and rural.
Smart as he is, I don't agree with his analysis and the reason is that he completely ignores the effect of the new media which I think is profound. Charismatic leaders and pols are now taking a back seat or sharing influence to criticism, information, argument, satire and ad hoc organizing from all over the map. Indeed the key demographic is Internet access and in the US that is nearly ubiquitous.
I have always hated the idea, but some have suggested that the demise of powerful institutions (and businesses) tend to follow, as if commanded, after the construction of magnificent and over the top edifices. (Maybe that's why Warren Buffet is reported to drive an old station wagon). When the Times finished it's new, extravagant corporate symbol I thought, "well according to theory their downfall is imminent." They are certainly looking trapped and hungary.
Leno seems well aware, unlike the President and First Lady who seem to be in denial, that the country's center of gravity has shifted to the right in repulsion to the leftward force of the President's policies. I predict great success for his comedy.
We do live in interesting times.
Drudge links to a funny Leno clip today. He's set up a race course, where celebrities can drive an electric hybrid around the course. During the race, the driver has to try to avoid hitting Al Gore and Ed Begley Jr. It's great.