The Words Remain

During a recent conversation with a wiser older man than myself, a question of the future of my industry was posed. The question was: “What’s going to happen to newspapers?”

The question came on the heels of a conversation in which each of us described some of the sweeping technological changes we had beheld in our respective lifetimes.

While I recalled a time when few of my peers owned personal computers and even fewer owned cellular phones, he could remember when television sets were considered a fad.

For those of his generation, print journalism dominated the landscape. For mine, they are all but redundant in the face of our up-to-the-minute Internet Age.

Some would counter that I lack both the experience as well as the business acumen to pontificate so broadly about this field, to which I would heartily agree. However, as someone born in the last 40 years, I would venture that I have a strong grasp of the spirit of this age.

If nothing else, but as a consumer myself.

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…from word of mine, could any comfort come?

“…a bitter sorrow ’tis to lose a brute
friend, dog, or horse; for grief must then be mute.
So many smile to see the rivers shed
of tears for one poor speechless creature dead…”

Last night I held my daughter’s hand and spoke a few words of eulogy at the graveside of her beloved pet, a noble canine by the name of “Bella” who succumbed to a sudden illness yesterday afternoon.

The air was thick with my little girl’s grief…  as we stood together in a remote backyard corner of my parents home, near the final resting place of other dear companions our family has enjoyed o’er the years.

Sweaty and weary, my voice was serene through deep breaths brought forth from the exertion of the 4-foot hole I dug into loamy soil.

I spoke of the love my daughter had for her pet, of the memories that will linger in her thoughts.

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Football vs. Football

I got an e-mail recently asking me if I cared much for football.

Anyone who knows me knows that such a question is an easy one to answer, but there’s more to this story.

You see, the gentleman who wrote the e-mail was a Scottish friend of mine, and the “football” he was referring to is played in shorts and a T-shirt instead of shoulder pads and headgear.

Now I don’t want to get into a semantic debate over the use of the word football. I get it, OK?

I understand that “real” football is what we call soccer and the sport that dominates Friday night in East Texas is a red-headed stepchild derivative that sprung forth in Ivy League universities in the years leading up to and following the American Civil War.

But don’t blame Americans for this abuse of nomenclature.

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XXXIV

Monday was my birthday. I turned 34 years old on July 12.

“Congrats, bro,” a friend of mine said to me. “You’ve outlived Nero, Alexander the Great, and Jesus Christ.”

To say nothing of Sam Cooke, Chris Farley, or any of a number of other celebrated figures in our culture.

Besides, “outlived” is certainly a rather hasty bit of presumption. I could no sooner outlive Jesus than I could manifest His divinity.

Another friend of mine, upon hearing my bewilderment of advancing age, quipped that he had socks older than 34.

I have got to see these socks.
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The Pursuit of Happiness

Taking into account the season, I decided to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety on Saturday.

Having a three-day weekend with which to enjoy the now-passed Fourth of July holiday, I was privileged to participate in a bit more leisure than I am accustomed.

Without being compelled to pore over the copious verbiage that my occupation requires, it was a delight to read for the sheer pleasure of study and contemplation… an endeavor that is usually wedged between long work hours, over the span of a harried week.

In reading the Declaration, I hoped to sit in an audience before some of the foremost minds my nation has produced in its fledgling 234-year history. Having made no small study of the era, and the men it contained, I wanted to consider heavily their words and purpose behind desiring odds with their ruling monarch.

Moving past the opening remarks, which are so ingrained on the consciousness of any American who has managed even to view a History Channel special on the document, I was eager to delve deeper into the particulars than I had previously.

But something caught my eye very early on, and so distracted me that it took a deliberate and hasty effort to complete a reading that turned out to me far more cursory than I had intended.

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