Category Archives: New Media

Strangely Silent Years

March on Media: Part II in an Ongoing Series on the  Place of Technology in Our Lives

Once upon a time, when a mariachi band or barbershop quartet or stray female vocalist stepped into the subway car, we passengers had strong, palpable reactions to the sounds that were about to come streaming into our midst, the positive as well as the negative variety included. No longer. Nowadays, nearly everybody is wearing headphones as they ride the rails. The equanimity commuters seem to display in the face of such performers is just them failing to notice the music spilling out into the tight spaces we’re all traveling through. New Yorkers already have the soundtracks set to their days; they’ve got their own private playlists on a perpetual loop. Isn’t that the way to keep pace with progress? Continue reading

Three-Inch Screens

March on Media:
Part I in an Ongoing Series on the Place of Technology in Our Lives

A few months ago, at a family get-together that took some pains to arrange, I looked around our assembled group and saw just about every single relation staring at the small, glowing screen of a smartphone. They hardly noticed one another, let alone my staring; their attention was held captive by a series of three-inch squares in shifting shades. That family picture has stayed with me since then, although I never snapped it with a digital camera. No electronic copy of it sits anywhere on my laptop or Ipad or Blackberry or e-mail inbox. I simply see it in my mind’s eye and it still saddens me. Continue reading

Everybody Has a Prayer Chair

If there was ever any doubt that Oprah Winfrey wanted America to get religion, I think the Sunday programming on her new television network has quickly dispelled it. Each week, her show ‘Super Soul Sunday’ starts at 8:00 — in the morning. Not only does it air on Sunday morning, but it also stays on for three straight hours. Those of you familiar with church services will know: that’s much longer than a Catholic mass; that’s practically Baptist worship. It requires a serious standing commitment. Continue reading