As a matter of natural course I have become fully digital and all things social media--this blog, a Twitter and Facebook account and links to my talk radio show on KSCO. It's a digital world whether we like it or not and while there's certain aspects and realities of the Internet age I'm enthralled with there's a routine I will never abandon and that has to do with print.
I have a fondness for reading actual newspapers. I enjoy the Sunday ritual of grabbing the Chronicle, the Pink Section and the NY Times over coffee and breakfast. It makes the scrambled eggs and coffee mesh well. I like scanning Scott Ostler's Sunday Punch and Mick LaSalle's movie column. I like reading the printed prime of Michael Bauer's restaurant reviews stacked over the salt and pepper shaker. You can't do that with a laptop and besides which, knowing me, I'd spill the entire plate and coffee over my computer and destroy it. Not good.
Another thing: I'm a book guy but I want an actual book to read. I don't do Kindles or Nooks. They may be more sophisticated and work well at night on an airplane but pardon me, I prefer the solace of a hardcover with real pages and paper. They make little lights you can clip on the book. If I wanted to read a book on an electronic device I'd probably screw up some of the chips and then it would break. Books don't break unless you burn them and I'm not in that club.
I know a lot of you out there are all full-throttle digital chip. It's the way of the world. The Internet has a firm grip on our lives; the way we communicate with one another; the manner in which we get our news; the device that literally connects us to our community, our world, and that's fine. There's a reason for the technological revolution and while some elements annoy me, (like texting, for example,--substituting human interaction), I have become suited to the new world.
Then again the digital revolution doesn't terminate old habits. On a miserable cold and rainy day, I relish black coffee and printed articles. I like the feel of a column and the aroma of Maureen Dowd's mutterings over my runny eggs. Herb Caen and a bowl of oatmeal was my morning nirvana. The Sporting Green too. You don't get that karma on a keyboard. I know this sounds weird but the meal seems to taste better when your newspaper is graced up their over the fork and knife. The Internet has a cafe but there's only beverages. I want food. Among other things.
I've managed to do both. I read and gather most of my information from the Web; I have a digital subscription to the Times, but for some strange reason, I always pick up the print edition on Sunday. It's an acquired taste. Maybe a life phase too but a guilty pleasure none the less. I'm in the minority.
Newspapers are dying and that's a dirty rotten shame because there's some great newspapers out there that still cater to a loyal crowd. Unfortunately, not enough to satisfy the bottom line. Here's hoping my breakfast ritual can last at least another decade before I have to resort to another tactic.
*Note: Interesting article on the future of AM Radio in SF by the Chron's Radio Writer, Ben Fong-Torres.