Thursday, February 12, 2009

Call of the nolds

To think of news as a stable product is misleading, and the reason that it is misleading makes it all the more difficult for its purveyors to say what it is they do.

News of this ilk (or this ilk) is merely a loose (if not random) set of instantiations of the current consensus narrative.

What we think is news is detail, illustration, hypotyposis, within the master image, narrative, tape of the moment.

But even as the newsgatherer is offering his gleanings with gurgling martyred newsboy cry, the reader's attention has turned to what the next master narrative will be, so he's receiving the proffer in the nape of the neck.*

It's not received as some static, given report, rather as one moment in a call and response, one state within an experiment, one datum within an hypothesis that posits, above and beyond any and all stories, the meta news story that says, with all the authority of the ancient fabulous, "there will be new news."

So the the stories news gatherers present are -- no news here -- really the nolds -- a disfigurement of the new tale that the reader is forever anticipating.

*I am reminded of a talk David Weinberger gave last year in which as I recall he described the new front page for the news junkie to be more Twitter than Times.

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