Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Times' love affair with me

If that's the right phrase.

I wouldn't call myself a man of leisure, as this implies a higher net worth than I'm currently sporting and the absence of a job, which, I guess, I have. That being a painter. But I do, by dint of the way I paint, find myself with a lot of time on my hands. Lately I've been reading The Times online and it's become all too easy to send dispatches to the Mothership via email.

So yesterday I got a note back saying:
Dear Geoffrey,

This is [redacted] at [redacted (but you know, of course, that it's The Times)]. We were wondering if we could possibly print your comment on our City Room post about descending onto the Subway tracks to retrieve lost items.

In order to do so we need to confirm your identity. Please email back with a phone number where we can reach you.

Thank you for your comment and have a great day,

[redacted]
Names have been changed to protect the innocent, as you can well see, but they were referencing my comment to a blogged item (The Times has a ton of blogs, fyi) about retrieving things from the subway tracks. My comment went something like this:
blah blah blah blah.
Which, really, is a paraphrasing of anything I ever say.

Anyway, they liked the comment so much they decided to put in the hard copy (I don't call it a paper anymore). "Print" (as a verb) was the term they used for what they had planned. How delightfully archaic.

All of which is lovely, by the way. Don't get me wrong.

And I especially liked the part about how I had to send them a phone number and they had to call to confirm that I existed. Which I had already assured them I did, via email. But the web, dear reader, is a treacherous beast--I don't blame them for being careful.

You can read it for yourself on page A20, in the City Room section. This, for the record, is the second time in less than a week that I find myself on the pages of this august ... this prestigious ... this beloved, but deeply infuriating ... this whatever-The-Times-is.

Because it's not a newspaper anymore. Newspapers have ceased to exist, tangible evidence to the contrary. They've become something else. Terminology to come.

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