Stupid *&^%ing paper
02.06.36 - Mark
Its been a long day so I don't give a damn if this turns out as a full blown rant but the Mount Airy News is screwed up. At least this week they seem to be doing some good, with their first special edition in over 30 years (11,000 copies, all gone, very popular). The reason I'm a little pissed off about it is because they're using some of my photos with out credit. Sure I don't really care about having my name on stuff but I like some recognition once in a while - especially with my current attempts at stating a business. Anyways I've got a photo on page 2A of Saturday's paper (Andy and Opie Statue @ its permanent position) and had one in the special section (again statue, but this one has a guy working with the foot plate thing) Combined with the existing butchery of my pages I don't know why I bother doing stuff for them, Insanity I suppose.
On the flip side my dad's column on Blogging seems to have sparked an interest in the area because by my count at least 5 new blogs have popped up. Add in the dozen existing blogs and you're starting to get up there (there are several more in surry county but they're a little harder to find - not that I've gone digging too much.)
Speaking of the News and Blogging: A rip from the epaper since it will disappear in a couple days (due to technical ineptitude) Note that it isn't entirely correct (some dates are off), but its close enough for all intended purposes
"Future Tense: Public diaries
††††Rick Korthals was one of my best friends in grade school.
††††Rich had a sister. Iíve forgotten her name and what she looked like, but all the boys in the neighborhood thought she was a glamorous older woman.
††††We were 10 or 11. She was in high school ó probably 16.
††††Richís sister kept a diary. It had a pink plastic or leather cover and a strap with a lock to keep out her snoopy brother and his friends. In the diary she wrote bits of poetry, dished up gossip about her friends and boys and school, mused about her place in the world and chatted about going to games, movies, dances and dates.
††††How do I know what she wrote?
††††I had a lock pick.
††††Rich would sneak the diary out of his sisterís bedroom, Iíd unlock it and weíd laugh ourselves silly over what she wrote. If we understood it, that is.
††††One night at supper, Rich innocently asked, "Whatís a ëFrench kiss?í"
††††His parents quickly learned that (a) t Rich read the phrase in his sisterís diary and (b) his pal, Steve, had opened it.
††††I donít know what happened to the sister. I do know that Mrs. Korthals called my mom and I was banned from ever going back to the Korthalsí house.
††††That lesson gave me a healthy respect for peopleís privacy, especially in their personal papers. However, itís breaking down under the temptation to read blogs.
††††Blogs are the diaries of the 21 st century, often intensely personal, sometimes wonderfully insightful and other times thoroughly dull. They may be, by turns, silly and smart, sad and happy, inspiring and dreary, a great comfort and truly worrisome. Iíve seen a published estimate that there are 4 million blogs on the Internet. I doubt it; I believe the number of active blogs is closer to 1 million. Maybe 150,000 are worth reading. However, like the World Wide Web a few years ago, the blogosphere (the self-declared universe of blogs) is growing at an exponential rate.
††††High school students fuel the phenomenon, writing diaries much like Richís sisterís.
††††The difference is, you donít have to pick a lock to read their blogs. Unless theyíre closed to outsiders, these diaries are open to anyone with browser software and a computer connection to the Internet.
††††The earliest Mount Airy studentís blog Iíve found is Sarah Gittís. Now a student at UNCChapel Hill, Sarah put up her blog in February 2002 when she was a junior at Mount Airy High School. My oldest son started a blog a year after Sarah when he, too, was a junior.
††††Since then, eight to 10 others have appeared (and at least one has disappeared; more about that in a moment). Iím not going to publish their addresses ó we all get too much spam already ó but theyíre not secret and if you send me an e-mail explaining why you want to know, Iíll share the information. Actually, trading links within a group is a blog tradition.
††††The blog that disappeared belonged to one of the Mount Airy High School students arrested for under-age drinking at a party Sept. 10. She wrote in detail about the party, one or two of her encounters with boys at that party and the arrest. And also about her motherís reaction and her fatherís. It was the last entry on her blog. The site came down a few days after we referred to it in an editorial. (By the way, nothing ever dies on the Web. Parts of her blog remain accessible on the Internet.)
††††I donít know, but I can guess, that her parents did not know she had an on-line diary. Some other Mount Airy parents may not be aware of their own kidsí blogs. I will repeat the same caution I give every parent: be involved with your children and pay attention to what theyíre doing on the Internet.
††††That said, I donít apologize for reading the studentsí blogs. They are, after all, open to the whole world. Also, I enjoy the opportunity to learn a little more about what todayís teens think. My son knows I read his blog and has never objected; sometimes he uses it to share his interests with me and to point to links weíll both appreciate.
††††However, I really donít spend much time reading kidsí blogs. Weíll talk about the others ... in the future.