Tag Archives: commentary

Fake news … anchors

Now from China comes word that human television newscasters will soon be joined by salary-saving, computer-generated simulations that can work around the clock.  Here’s Xinhua News Agency’s first English-speaking artificial intelligence anchor, bringing you news of its existence: I suppose fake news anchors are the logical next step in technology’s gutting of an honorable profession […]

Our Stepford lives

I sometimes regret that I bought a new laptop a year ago, though I was forced into it.  The keyboard on my ancient Lenovo was falling apart; after the “M” key and the little red button beneath it abandoned ship,  I could no longer ail coherent essages Only after acquiring my new machine did I […]

Happy Birthday, Everyone! :)

I don’t know about you, but when I get birthday notifications about Facebook friends, a small space opens in my brain, which begins to tread water in a sad sort of perplexed way, wondering if I actually know this person — “know” not in the Biblical sense, but “know” in the ordinary, pre-social media sense […]

Those clumsy females

I have been out and about on my bike recently, tooling along the many pleasant and well-maintained trails that traverse these parts. Nice. During these outings, however, I have been struck by signs warning of potential dangers, usually flooding at low underpasses. They invariably include two specific visual elements: 1. water, and 2. a woman […]

Sound and fury

  The Fourth of July is a quintessentially American holiday, composed of over-the-top visuals, deafening noise, national self-aggrandizement and victimization of vulnerables, especially dogs, thousands of which will run away, cower in terror, or simply wet themselves. I may well do the same, as each year, I find myself more averse to these cacophonous, polluting […]

The greatest

My list of admired journalists is short, requiring for inclusion a sharp intellect, a compassionate spirit and the ability to express those capacities in a way that moves hearts and minds. Some are excellent reporters who also care about elegant writing; others are subtly dazzling writers who also care about rigorous reporting. My list of […]

Character assassination

I recently completed William Manchester’s The Death of a President, an exhaustively researched description of the days surrounding John F. Kennedy’s brutal assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The slaying of the charismatic president, who embodied the vigor and optimism of a new generation, shattered not only his countrymen but citizens of the world. Perhaps it’s […]

Pretend, because we need you to

I got another “like” request this morning from a Facebook “friend” I don’t know, and because of that I can’t sit him down over beer or Valium or coffee, or whatever he needs to prop him up, and say what is on my mind, which is an eulogy for the gravest casualty of social media: […]