October 26, 2012

It was a pathetic and sad exercise in the “€œpopular kids”€ saying what was and wasn”€™t “€œcool.”€ Even what existed. You thought it didn”€™t matter and you ruled the hallways, so that was it. Except this isn”€™t acceptable behavior for adults. Despite what many in your (former) position say, those who seek their news from the Internet are in every way fully developed intellects. They know when so-called reporters cover things up or pretend they didn”€™t happen. For years you”€™ve been used to playing hooky with reality and it stops now.

Third, nobody cares about your resumé. Yes, that perfectly polished ecru-shaded cardstock masterpiece you”€™ve been honing for months is no more than the toilet paper you formerly used to “€œprank”€ our homesteads by covering up facts from the American public. On the Internet no one cares. I have many degrees from many fine universities and they mean nothing if I can”€™t make people think with what I write. Likewise, I have no qualms about reading commentary from a self-educated pauper in a studio apartment in the worst section of town…if he makes me think. That is the beauty of the Internet; it’s all about intelligence. No one cares what you wear, where you went to school, or any of the jobs you previously held or if you”€™ve ever held a job at all.

The only thing that matters is whether you tell the truth and if you make people think about that truth in an insightful manner. All the cocktail parties, “€œnetworking,”€ and “€œhanging out with the popular kids“€ of New York and Washington mean absolutely nothing here in the new media. We don”€™t care how “€œin”€ you are or how “€œout”€ you think we are. So take that gilt-edged resumé and pack it away with your letter jacket and all the other mementos that mean absolutely jack-squat to us.

Finally, it is a wide, wide world. Your name means nothing. (Especially if you are a filthy plagiarist.) It may have been important when you were roaming the campus of a suburban outpost of secondary education, but not anywhere else. All your accomplishments and accolades occurred in a microcosm that doesn”€™t amount to spit among the adults. There is a class president and valedictorian on every street corner these days. Your byline, snapshot, and past readership are as nothing.

On the Internet millions of people give outlandish opinions. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are extraordinarily few who bother to work hard and think in exceptional ways. Your past performance at Newsweek puts you decidedly among the former. Your wisdom has been nothing but “€œconventional wisdom,”€ which isn”€™t wise at all. Your insight has been propaganda, and it doesn”€™t sell. And if it didn”€™t sell on the newsstand it has even less chance of selling online.

Until December we have to sit through the mind-numbing commencement speeches and dicta on how important you were and what you meant to the profession. But really, we”€™re all just waiting for you to walk out the door.

Your time has past. But do not despair; there is always the thirty-year class reunion where you can lie about how important you became following your glory days. After all, lying is what you always did best.


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