Now that journalist, blogger and “cultural critic” (whatever that is) Heather Havrilesky, has left Salon to write for a “iPad-only” publication, I’m enraged. Fortunately, she has written a book, a memoir, actually, available in paper, the subject of a recent savaging noted here. No stranger to criticism, she responds on her blog. All fine and good, but where does that leave me, tabletless, stubborn, semi-literate, an easily-disoriented babe in the electronic jungle? When some whacko screenwriters concoct yet another confusing, bewildering yet oddly addictive series, who will I turn to for guidance through the miasma of plot twists inevitably involving time travel and aliens? Something had been bothering me about this whole tablet thing. And here it is: you have to have access to things like money and electricity to use one of the deuced things. Whereas paper, post Gutenberg’s invention, is the Equalizer, the Great Democratizer, the Pulp of Pamphleteers, not to mention remarkably absorbent and pliable. Tablets involve internet connections, contracts, glowy bits, probably even vapors, and are utterly useless for swabbing up spilled coffee or wrapping fish and chips.
On The Daily‘s staff, Havrilesky will mingle with the likes of a certain New Yorker music critic whose name I dare not write, suffice to say it begins and ends with “s” and is composed almost entirely of negatively charged particles.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dry my eyes with the Times Literary Supplement and wax nostalgic for the halcyon days of yesteryear. -Ed Scripsi