Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brain drain

Maureen Dowd writes that newspaper jobs are being outsourced. Just like telemarketing phone drones and the distant voices of the software help line, you too can be replaced. By a helpful, piece-working wage slave in Bangalore.

She writes from (I think) some media conference in Pasadena —

The newspaper business is not only crumpling up, James Macpherson informed me here, it is probably holding “a one-way ticket to Bangalore.”

Macpherson — bow-tied and white-haired but boyish-looking at 53 — should know. He pioneered “glocal” news — outsourcing Pasadena coverage to India at Pasadena Now, his daily online “newspaperless,” as he likes to call it. Indians are writing about everything from the Pasadena Christmas tree-lighting ceremony to kitchen remodeling to city debates about eliminating plastic shopping bags.

“Everyone has to get ready for what’s inevitable — like King Canute and the tide coming in — and that’s really my message to the industry,” the editor and publisher said. “Many newspapers are dead men walking. They’re going to be replaced by smaller, nimbler, multiple Internet-centric kinds of things such as what I’m pioneering.”

I wondered how long it would be before some guy in Bangalore was writing my column about President Obama.

“In brutal terms,” said Macpherson, whose father was a typesetter, printer and photographer, “it’s going to get to the point where saving the industry may require some people losing their jobs. The newspaper industry is coming to a General Motors moment — except there’s no one to bail them out.” He said it would be “irresponsible” for newspapers not to explore offshoring options.


How perfectly goddamned delightful it all is.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Join the bargain stampede to Wal-Mart

What a way to go. Death in Long Island. A Wal-Mart greeter, trampled to death by a crowd of bargain hunters on Black Friday. They burst through the doors. He looks up, and they're running at him like a trumpeting elephant herd.

At this moment, the fight-or-flight reflex kicks in.


The neurons start firing, like the nose of that guy in the Operation game.


But, no ...

His higher brain centers send a message to his muscles. An inhibition response cuts off the reflex.

He thinks of the reprimand from his mid-level supervisor.

Now, Burt. You just let 'em trample in like that? That's not the Wal-Mart spirit! You call yourself a Greeter?

So he stands his ground.

He interposes his body between the crowd and the shining bargains.

And the crowd, in its Black Friday lust, tramples him to death in their pursuit of a $300 flat screen HDTV.

A TV, I might add, not made in the USA.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

McDonalds -- Why so serious?

JOKER: Hi kids. Remember Ronald McDonald. (snickers) The last Ronald McDonald?

Giggles, reveals severed head of Ronald McDonald.

JOKER: You want fries with that? (tosses head OS -- stands up) This city deserves a better class of clown -- and I'm going to give it to them!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ

Now the pirates seized an oil tanker. They want $25 million.

What's freaking next ...


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jonathan Zittrain

Zittrain's talk for NewAmericaFoundation conference. Long but interesting.