Those of us who covered media were told for years that the sky was falling, and nothing happened. And then it did. Great big chunks of the sky gave way and magazines tumbled — Gourmet!? — that seemed as if they were as solid as the skyline itself. But to those of us who were here back in September of 2001, we learned that even the edifice of Manhattan itself is subject to perforation and endless loss.
So what do we get instead? The future, which is not a bad deal if you ignore all the collateral gore. Young men and women are still coming here to remake the world, they just won’t be stopping by the human resources department of Condé Nast to begin their ascent.
For every kid that I bump into who is wandering the media industry looking for an entrance that closed some time ago, I come across another who is a bundle of ideas, energy and technological mastery. The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down.
I was at a karaoke thing last night and someone put on Cyndi Lauper’s “Money Changes Everything.” For some reason it got in my mind that Bryan Ferry had written that song, which didn’t seem to make sense. But here’s what I was thinking of: Bryan Ferry co-wrote “The Right Stuff”—which was the first single from his 1987 solo album Bete Noir—with Johnny Marr.
The Smiths recorded an instrumental version of the song as the b-side to “Bigmouth Strikes Again” and called it “Money Changes Everything.”
Turns out Cyndi’s version was originally by a band called The Brains.
At a bar last night, I was talking to someone smart who made an excellent point: that a very quiet, revolutionary act in the history of publishing had just taken place. (This person compared this moment to Gutenberg, which might be a little bit far afield but not that far off!) That is that Joshua Micah Marshall is hiring a publisher for Talking Points Memo, the blog he started all on his own in 2000, a bit before all the warbloggers like Jeff Jarvis and Glenn Reynolds came onto the Internet, and four years before Michelle Malkin. (Oh yes, how soon we forget.) My friend’s point was: here is an editor, who built and owns his publication, who is now going to be the editor-owner, who will employ the publisher. For those of you who have worked at any sort of publication, the implications of this are staggering.