Monday, June 6, 2016

black and white newspaper

Like a reverse-version of a Rorschach test, the local newspaper arrived this morning in black-and-white.  And, like the Rorsschach that brings the onlooker up short with the insertion of color, it was something of a jolt, not seeing color photographs. It was hard to remember the time when black-and-white was all there was, and more, that there was something fishy afoot when color photography (not always very good) was first added. There was a note on today's page 1 saying there had been production difficulties.

How grey and gloomy the paper appeared. How dull-dull-dull. And yet what a shift of mind, from a time when the worded content was king and the photos were just ride-alongs. Now my mind, like so many others perhaps, is drawn to and ensorcelled by the colors and the words ... well, the words have lost their regal status.

And the stories as written are more polite little je-ne-sais-quoi's and less the hard-hitting, fact-pacted hammers of information. "One picture worth ten thousand words," the Chinese used to say. But which 10,000 and what they say seems to have fallen into disarray. The 24-hour news cycle has meant that news becomes more and more the old joke about repeating "banana" over and over again. What reason (or funding) is there for digging deep into the essence of a banana when you have pretty pictures to divert the eye and mind?

Oh well ... just some old-fart grousing.

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