David Carr’s beautiful media eulogy

It isn’t quite this way here — we lack Manhattan’s seat-of-empire excesses — but the ex-Twin Cities Reader editor beautifully captures the destruction of a privileged world while bowing (not entirely ungratefully) to what’s next. Strikes me as pretty right-on.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ira Kaplan on 11/30/2009 - 07:34 am.

    Small irony: Had to go online to read Carr’s column because the NY Times delivered to my Manhattan apartment had a big black streak obscuring the article.

  2. Submitted by Annalise Cudahy on 11/30/2009 - 09:58 am.

    Carr was especially on-target to focus on the carnage and how it affects the young. No one is getting a start in this – or any other – business based on economy of scale. The net result will certainly be with me the rest of my life as this generation scratches and claws and, hopefully, re-invents the world to be something useful.

    I’m nowhere near as hopeful as Carr is, I must admit. Out here in the hinterlands, the state of publishing the written word has fallen into an abyss. Yet for all my pessimism, my only real quibble with what he has said is that I doubt that the next generation will realize its destiny in a marbled capitol that in any way resembles the old New York establishment.

    I think that as much as the time is now, the place is much more like Saint Paul than Manhattan.

    I have been saying for years that our culture is at a dead-end, meaning that it has little choice but to re-trace its steps or sit down and quietly pass on. If we were to re-trace Carr’s own steps, I think we might see a bit of the future written outside the places anyone expects to find it.

    New York publishers existed because of places like our little town – places full of life and connections between people that came out as stories and added up to lives and ultimately a culture. The spaces inbetween people that held the foundations of it all together like mortar were neglected and the foundations crumbled.

    The young are the ones who have the heart and arm and brain to do something about this, yes. But the job they are being given will require tremendous effort and vision. Staring out at the ruins of the old may not be the best way to inspire them, I think. Better to go back to where the fields were always green and marbled halls were only a dream.

    Whenever anyone is ready to be serious about re-inventing our culture from the bottom up, I’m willing to be there to lend a hand. I don’t want this to fall exclusively on the young, especially if all they have are ruins to pick through.

    I only wish that the self-appointed mavens of this “new media” have the will to be focused and dedicated enough to make it happen. That would give me hope. There is, after all, nothing less than our whole sense of “culture” that is at stake here. It’s not a game or a middle-class affectation, it is the connections that fill the spaces inbetween us that make us into something we might be able to call “civilized”.

  3. Submitted by Paul Gustafson on 11/30/2009 - 11:19 am.

    Carr is a great writer. He did it again. But, enough of nostalgia for the bygone days. And, there’s more than a little sense of self-importance and self-entitlement in the Carr piece.

    How about saying “What’s next?” in a forward-looking way.

    Let’s find a way to put journalistic shoes on the street in the New Reality, and get the public to appreciate it enough to pay for it.

    The Strib showed Sunday in Tony Kennedy’s story about charter schools that the Old Media still offers something they can’t often get from the New Folks – and locally.

Leave a Reply