Momma These Trees Were Meant to Die, by Davin Michael Stedman

I had a moment tonight remembering what real journalism feels like. A United States can’t elect a Donald Trump unless they have been inoculated by a critical mass of Opioids and click bait.

Yes, The New York Times has a slant. All papers have an audience and a point of view. I am not in the market for condos starting at just 2 million as advertised.

But the articles I scanned and jumped into that caught my eye were not delivered to me by an arch evil algorithm made to starve and feed me, like a 4000 pound malnourished gorilla.

It was strange to read stories that didn’t care if I was more likely to click them. It was odd to see multiple articles written objectively that were not pandering to me. You only notice the articles are pandering when they stop pandering to you.

The stories were all well written and researched while written at the speed of their city.

I do want to know a New York minute. Real journalism is a hustle. But only a few rags in the world can keep up that grind. New York has the right geography.

Unfolding the paper made me wonder what day it was I stopped sitting down with a newspaper. Was it around the time we filled the cracks in our life with rubber content cement? I wondered how many hands had touched this paper. Sharing a story once meant something.

Free isn’t Freedom.

But it wasn’t just me. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is a ghost. The Rocket got killed in a hit & run when I was 21 years young.

The Stranger was once the arbiter of something. It seemed like it once broke bands and made you believe a star by your show made 30 more people arrive for your set. Once every couple of years they would say our poster was the poster of the week.

An Alternative Weekly is a far cry from The New York Times. But something about holding this paper I could break a window with, that arrives every Sunday, that I could read all week tells me two things:

1. Slow down son. Collect yourself, and get ready to run as fast as you ever did before, with more purpose.

2. Because quality is still Queen, and you’re balancing your share of escalator going down click bait bullsh_t to diminishing returns.

Nothing about the Facebook platform is real except the cages. Everyone gets a free algorithm sadness bowl. The tinting of social media comes free but you don’t even need these expenses glasses.

I wonder what life would be like (again) with a landline, an answering machine, and The New York Times. Would I just disappear?

The 1990s really was the end of something.

Davin Michael Stedman

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