Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ink-Stained To Link-Strained -- A Kvetch

(From The Washington Post -- By Howard Kurtz)

While I hook up my laptop just about anywhere, IM my buddies and continually check my buzzing BlackBerry, one thing is missing today -- what I call ED SULLIVAN MOMENTS.

There was a time, younger readers -- pre-fax, pre-voice mail, pre-MYSPACE -- when families like mine sat around a black-and-white TV set with a handful of channels, watching many of the same shows. And whether Sullivan's guests were THE BEATLES, impressionist FRANK GORSHIN or TOPO GIGIO (a silly mouse puppet who appeared 92 times), it was a shared experience.

Now, liberated from the stranglehold of CBS, NBC and ABC, we can watch news channels that match our political predilections. Read Web sites that reinforce our opinions. Stream our favorite radio talkers through our computer speakers. Download videos that mirror our obsessions. Add selected songs to our IPOD playlists rather than buying the whole album -- oops, sorry, CD. The Googlization of books could mean that you just punch up the chapter, passage or reference you want rather than read an author's entire work.

In short, we can now get anything we want, at the precise moment we want it, tailored to our merest whim.

Who'd want to give that up?

Not me.

While Ed Sullivan moments may be consigned to history, the digital age has brought us a burgeoning army of citizen journalists.

It's nice to be able to gorge on this movable feast. But awkward old Ed Sullivan would have a hard time making it today.

Maybe he'd have to sell his best segments on ITUNES.

Ink-Stained To Link-Strained -- A Kvetch

[One item today that's still a shared experience, even with all these new innovations, is sports television.]

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