As a fossil old enough to remember flip-flip-flipping through a card-index to do research, let me gladly confess to immense gratitude for the quantum leap in ease-of-hunting and plethora-of-results delivered by the digital revolution and the internet.
When in 1993 I wrote an undergrad paper on Firesign Theatre, the transition from old-school to cybertech was just beginning and I was actually able to do both, finding (via the subject-files of the card-index) that the University of Alberta's Rutherford Library had, yes, a copy of their Big Book of Plays, and (via a scholarly CD--an intermediate method which I suspect is equally extinct now) the news that a single serious article existed on them. In a theatre journal not carried by the U of A Library system. Damn.
Now I punch in "Firesign Theatre" to the Google search-engine and presto: "About 1,530,000 results" starting with the usual Wikipedia entry (requiring the usual additional citations), then the group's own website, extending down to the usual fan-emissions and passing mentions.
And now today (actually July 21, as Google Blogger only lists start-date) we get the current uproar over Rolling Stone magazine's latest cover (close up of Boston-bomber Tsarnaev's face) has me thinking "great opportunity for a spot of satire.. But first the search of the topic. WHOA!!--as of Aug. 2, 82,800,000 results!! Apres Google le deluge!
Where to start? With the caterwauling of my fellow basement-cranks? Or the measured chin-stroking of legitimate journalists? Well, how about a Canadian compromise?...
Mallick is something of a controversy herself (yet she garners fewer than 250,000 Google hits, and only 1,294 Twitter followers--as of Aug 2 again--versus the 3,000 to 8,000 of most media personages, and let's not even mention my pitiful 342). Yes, Mallick is somewhat... surreal:
And leftie, if that matters to you. A person could spend half a lifetime researching Mallick online if the urge struck. Alas, she wearies me quickly. I'm more interested in why Huffington Post is so blandly boring, clogging my inbox with tripe about Frankie Valli on Elvis, retiring abroad, "25 Most Ripped Men over 50" and "Aging Too Fast." Are you asleep yet? But such flummery sells to my boomer-demographic, I guess.
Or I drift to tangential Mallick items, e.g. an online journalism busybody that sort of defends her, saying, "Mallick seems to be consistent"--at what is unspecified, although ideology seems the most likely candidate. The site's platitude-monger also yawps about "balance" in the classic style of low-end journalism critics, i.e. not specifying between what and what. Really, balance is one of the most dubious journalism virtues, usually just a screen for a writer's bias. Maybe it's just a mental illness of mine (check the Manual) but I prefer the bias of any journalist to be open and ripsnorting.
*in progress, I hope...*
Dave Edmunds, "It Aint Easy"