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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

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136

Wayne's World

What we still need to learn from an investigative giant

by Adam Weinstein

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Weinstein, A. (2017). Wayne's World. The Baffler, 37, pp. 136-141

138

Contrast Wayne’s legacy with the Trumpworthy approach to Today’s Content. In today’s mediasphere, headlines are crafted not merely to grab eyeballs but to jerk knees and get share-buttons clicked.

And somehow, all the twitching and the Pavlovian sharing is supposed to create a viable personal brand through conspicuous consumption. Except here nothing is actually consumed and certainly nothing is digested; it’s just cooked in short order, plated and passed around till it’s cold and moldy and forgotten. We come hungry to the internet and TV and, occasionally, quaintly, the magazine and the tabloid. We pick something off the menu, rave about it to our friends and kin, then rush off without eating, hungrier than ever. We come to value the appetite more than fullness.

Wayne’s journalism made you sit down and chew your food. Maybe every meal didn’t please your palate, but many more of them did, and you were always happy for the nourishment.

Wayne died the day before Donald John Trump of Queens was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Since then—before then, to be honest—I’ve been adrift, dumb, immobile, confounded by my world. And then, a while ago, an editor emailed me to ask me for a piece on Wayne. This all has a point, I swear. I’m just getting to it now.

—p.138 by Adam Weinstein 1 year, 2 months ago

Contrast Wayne’s legacy with the Trumpworthy approach to Today’s Content. In today’s mediasphere, headlines are crafted not merely to grab eyeballs but to jerk knees and get share-buttons clicked.

And somehow, all the twitching and the Pavlovian sharing is supposed to create a viable personal brand through conspicuous consumption. Except here nothing is actually consumed and certainly nothing is digested; it’s just cooked in short order, plated and passed around till it’s cold and moldy and forgotten. We come hungry to the internet and TV and, occasionally, quaintly, the magazine and the tabloid. We pick something off the menu, rave about it to our friends and kin, then rush off without eating, hungrier than ever. We come to value the appetite more than fullness.

Wayne’s journalism made you sit down and chew your food. Maybe every meal didn’t please your palate, but many more of them did, and you were always happy for the nourishment.

Wayne died the day before Donald John Trump of Queens was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Since then—before then, to be honest—I’ve been adrift, dumb, immobile, confounded by my world. And then, a while ago, an editor emailed me to ask me for a piece on Wayne. This all has a point, I swear. I’m just getting to it now.

—p.138 by Adam Weinstein 1 year, 2 months ago
140

And so I find myself coming to a very dark hinge moment in this essay. Would I like more Waynes? Sure. But I wouldn’t wish this profession on anyone now, not even the bottom-dwelling jingoists of the fashy cyber-right. We are not fucked because we don’t have enough Waynes. We are fucked because we have a country full of Waynes who don’t have any real, stop-the-capital-M-madness power.

—p.140 by Adam Weinstein 1 year, 2 months ago

And so I find myself coming to a very dark hinge moment in this essay. Would I like more Waynes? Sure. But I wouldn’t wish this profession on anyone now, not even the bottom-dwelling jingoists of the fashy cyber-right. We are not fucked because we don’t have enough Waynes. We are fucked because we have a country full of Waynes who don’t have any real, stop-the-capital-M-madness power.

—p.140 by Adam Weinstein 1 year, 2 months ago
141

The point is that there are no editorial decisions that aren’t economic decisions. I’m not going to pretend that the old, newspaper-age “church-state separation” between editorial and advertising was magically exempt from a stultifying capitalist logic; it was mostly just a structure that worked to convince enough consumers of a news outlet’s credibility to make it consumable and profitable. That’s not how you establish your journalistic credibility anymore, and it’s certainly not how you make money. You make money, for now, by connecting, via Facebook, to people’s passions and prejudices. You don’t use carrots and sticks on these potential readers: You use sugar, cocaine, molly, Infowars dietary supplements, and a Gorilla Mindset.

—p.141 by Adam Weinstein 1 year, 2 months ago

The point is that there are no editorial decisions that aren’t economic decisions. I’m not going to pretend that the old, newspaper-age “church-state separation” between editorial and advertising was magically exempt from a stultifying capitalist logic; it was mostly just a structure that worked to convince enough consumers of a news outlet’s credibility to make it consumable and profitable. That’s not how you establish your journalistic credibility anymore, and it’s certainly not how you make money. You make money, for now, by connecting, via Facebook, to people’s passions and prejudices. You don’t use carrots and sticks on these potential readers: You use sugar, cocaine, molly, Infowars dietary supplements, and a Gorilla Mindset.

—p.141 by Adam Weinstein 1 year, 2 months ago