Property Noir August 2012
Getting old sucks. It's not unlike being stuck for hours in an elevator with an endless loop of Katie Perry songs, Transformer prequels and sequels being beamed onto that small video screen on the wall and Formula 1's Bernie Ecclestone in the flesh continually combing his Andy Warhol like hairdo over and over. The pain is unbearable at times, but of course there are worse things in the world – war, famine, poverty – and Bernie Ecclestone's hair.
One sure sign of age for me is one of my dirty little habits. This probably caused you to suddenly shift in your seat and perhaps pay attention. Sorry, no true confessions will follow. In this instance, I'm referring to reading newspapers and the substance in question is the ink that rubs off onto your fingers.
Lets take a moment for straight talk. We all know print newspapers are dead. Maybe they have not yet found their way to the morgue and been tagged on the toe, but there is little if any doubt the death rattle is already being played by the backup band during intermissions.
It's a shame, as I grew up reading the news and like it or not, most mornings as a creature of habit I love to read that print along with a tasty caf latte or two. Mind you, earlier in the morning, my first attempts of many at caffeinating-up take me to the television to surf back and forth between BBC and CNN. I'm apathetic and don't care which one is which; it's a bit like dating naughty twins, but I'll let that one fly out the window and move on.
Broadcast news might well be taking up the empty hospital bed after our print version heads off to the hereafter, but while media gurus and mad ad men talk up the dynamic shift to online content, the reality is that the written word and the cathode ray still have a few last gasps to go. Let's say, perhaps a generation at most. You just have to look at the demographics to see that in an ageing population, except for the starry eyed tech guys in Silicon Valley, we, the mature, are the financial powerhouses. Hence print business papers and dare I say property magazines, continue to be a major medium.
Looking at the younger set, they are already wired to multiple devices, tasking up on social media, photos, tweeting and what not. No time to read and no real inclination to take time out for 20 minutes to drift through the news. Even in this world of fast access media, I can spot another ageing dinosaur as I type this out – my Blackberry – another vehicle soon to meet its maker. For now at least, my demographic loves it like a surrogate mistress.
Yes we are on the cusp of change. Thinking the inevitable will not happen is like being a junkie in denial or just flat out stupid. Comparisons that spring to mind are American's who think they still rule the world, the English that still hold out any hope of ever winning the world cup and the Germans (full stop). We could throw in the Chinese for all practical purposes, as they are about to feel a world of pain.
For now though, I'm content to dabble in both print and digital media. I'm leveraging my chances of hanging in just a little bit longer and newspapers are comforting – just like 70's rock and roll and black lingerie. Perhaps in the future things will come full circle. Stories of our daily lives will be told again not in print but around campfires, as in the early days of mankind. Certainly taking a page out of blogging there will be certain artistic license, with several versions of the truth, the half truth and out and out lies.
But lets just hope the dinosaurs don't come back as well. Or perhaps I already did?