Monday, August 3, 2009

Versailles in all its silliness

David Carr's item in tomorrow's Times is a tight little emblem of MSM at its most myopic. He describes the gala on Liberty Island in 1999 that launched Tina Brown's Talk magazine -- but the real silliness wasn't that event. It's his article.

Of course, A-list parties and such-like PR stunts are ripe fodder for hand-me-down Gatsby reflections on phony glamor and dying ages. And there's a rich archive of grandiose projections of media glory for ventures that later flopped.

The problem is, anybody who was paying attention -- that is, LOTS of people -- knew by 1999 that dead trees weren't the future. Indeed, plenty of people knew that ownership of intellectual property wasn't the future, either. The idea of claiming in 2009, as the title and the piece itself do, that "no one saw" the Internet coming ten years ago, is just d-doornail dumb. THESE narcissists may not have grokked it, but most of the rest of the world certainly did.

These people never learn. They just wax nostalgic about their own grand follies.

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