Culture

The National Twinge of Longing, and Other Swimming Tips From a Drowning Man

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What happens when you mix the autoeroticism of MSM State of Play reviews with the blinkered and defiant self-regard of New Yorker film critic David Denby? Well, let's just say the phrase "twinge of longing" makes it to the opening sentence.

Elsewhere, La Denby puts his thinking cap on about how to solve the pressing national problem of Google "supplying free news content to Internet users without proper compensation to the providers (newspapers and magazines)":

I'm dwowning! I'm dwowning!

Instead of paying individual news organizations a separate fee, why can't the consumer pay a single special monthly fee to his Internet service provider (much like a monthly cable fee now) that would then make possible instant free access to however many news organizations join a group devoted to this project?

After the Internet service provider took its cut, the revenues would then be split among the news organizations according to how many hits they get. […]

For a scheme like this to work, Web sites, I suppose, would also have to stop freely linking to one another, a major shift in their philosophy. But is this shift worse than everyone drowning together for lack of income?

In related news, Mark Penn is now reporting in the Wall Street Journal that "we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income." Denby may be drowning (if by "drowning" you mean "continuing to earn more than probably 90 percent of Americans for writing crap movie reviews every other week"), but it seems some of his fellow wordsmithers are learning to grow gills.