RIP "The News" 1704-2013

"We are gathered here today on this sorrowful occassion to say goodbye to the dearly departed. He was dearly and he has departed. Thus, that's why we call him the dearly departed. In other words, the nigga's dead" ((Richard Pryor, Minister of Education)).

Yes, it is with a tear in our eyes that we turn the pages of history and move forward.  As we must.  For there is that in the world which is something that happens to us, and to not recognize said happening is to live in denial.  Instead dear friends, let us accept the passage of the dearly departed.

"The News" is no longer a thing.

The words inherent therein revert to their default and original meaning: information that has relevance to you personally - relayed by somebody you know personally.  Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  The cycle of life continues.

For a time, which we mark the start of with the publication of the first "newspaper" in 1704, information marked by the moniker "The News" took on a larger meaning.  It became a united social set of information, blessed with the mark of benevolence and stamped with official insignias of truth.  It was a different time then.  Let us remember:

"Did you hear The News?  We won The War."

It was a time that such a statement could have real significance when spoken by an unknown personage.  The "we" was assumed as understood, like many aspects of the dearly departed, and was not to be questioned.  Far-off events, real or imagined, packaged and labeled, could create an importance which affected the noosphere like a needle in living tissue.  It became the world, or rather The World.  Hearst would have his battle in Cuba:

"You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."

Later, The News even furnished its own pictures.

The News was what had happened, whether it was election results, scientific results, or courtroom results.  And perhaps more importantly, it determined what was popular.  During the heyday of The News, one didn't go out to hear what people were singing, or even talk to people at all, to know what music was popular.  One simply saw it on The News, and it was so. You didn't cross the News, because if you did - everyone would know you were Hitler.  After all, it's in the News.  Have you heard of Hitler?  Did you see The News?

The dearly departed was not only all-knowing but all-powerful.

The body of The News was originally dominated by print, though later it became dominated by an audio/video mix known as television.  In its later years, The News even had some life on the internet.  There were many who referred to it as "The Media", and in it's still later years, "The Mainstream Media" (MSM).

Like many creatures, it overextended, and left exposed its gross weaknesses.  It reached into Hollywood, into Yahoo and Google, and into recording artistry.  But productions became shabby, and the raw lie of the whole operation became clear.  Truth does not always come with insignias.

The first signs of trouble were first obvious in the manipulation of The News by SOPS (statally operated pseudojustice systems).  The citizens taxed by such corporations as the Soviet Union, the Republic of China, and the United States may have been the first to see The News stumble and fall, as it became clear to many that this was not exactly a vehicle for benevolent truth-telling.

The News was held together for many years through its delinquency by one man: T. Hermann Zwiebel.  In running a tight ship in his The News operation, he extended the lifespan of a failing enterprise by some 20 years.  While still speaking The News, they yet catered to literate folks, and left out the raw claims to supreme power which had begun to ring so hollow.  Even through the sad operations of The News through Sept. 2001, the Zwiebel estate kept the beast alive.  However in the end even this great injection of life and language could not hold The News together.  Whether it was the Sandy Hook reportage of late 2012 or simply combined systemic failures that claimed its life in the end, we may never know.  On June 25, 2013 the final newspaper was printed.

Today the corpse of this creature is visible before you.  In airport lounges, it appears on screens which nobody watches.  It speaks out from headlines nobody reads on newsstands which only sell tobacco.  It speaks from the past in collections of propaganda and wise pundits who had ideas for its recovery, such as Bill Hicks and Huey Louis.

Though we grieve now, we also celebrate.  We celebrate the trust that humanity has had for one another, and also the boon to that trust that the death of The News will give - as it is checks and balances that can make us stronger in the end.

Now you may ask how the word of this passage will get out.  It is an interesting question.  The news will get out, but it won't be covered in The News.  The News will be eventually be replaced by its more modest relative: the news.