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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The State of Local Journalism in the Hudson Valley: Prologue

My dreams are not usually good, nor are they usually bad. They're almost always weird, kinda like David Lynch is artist-in-residence in my subconscious. Usually if I remember anything about them, it's snippets - like the still-open bar (with Genesee Cream Ale on tap!) in a side room of a long-abandoned church off Main Street in Poughkeepsie, or traveling up and down Route 9 on my belly on a piece of cardboard, or exploring a weird jet-black derelict mansion somewhere in Red Hook, or realizing as I'm driving back from Connecticut that I have Pink Floyd tickets for Albany that day.

But sometimes I have really elaborate and highly action-movie like dreams. (Often they involve the Cloverfield monster - odd because I have never actually watched that movie - or some kind of weird menace to Hyde Park, like zombie armies or Vietnamese submarine aircraft carriers sneaking up the Hudson to attack HP to avenge the Vietnam War. But I digress.)

There is of course plenty of debate and theorizing about why we dream what we dream; that "why" may remain an impenetrable mystery of the human experience. While I don't really dream straight prophecy, there is one I had that maybe had some kind of premonition, like a backwash of the fluid of time, to it.

Remember this? I really don't but my subconscious mind does. (Wikipedia.)

In the dream, a squad of commandos had been assembled to destroy the Internet. (Why, exactly, was unclear but it was understood to be imperative that this be done.) A vital part of the Internet was kept up in the International Space Station, which had not been up there that long at the time this dream was dreamt, circa Y2K. My job was to take that part out and to do so, I had to hijack the space shuttle. (This turned out to be not that hard at all - this I think was a reference to "Far Out Space Nuts", a kids' show from the '70s where Gilligan and some other dude launched themselves accidentally into outer space while loading chow onto a rocketship.)

Once I got to the ISS and got inside - again, not hard - I found myself in a laser-gun battle with its inhabitants as I fought my way to the part of the Internet I had to destroy. What was supposed to have happened next I'll never know. As so often happens, the alarm went off and I woke up.

But it was about the same time of that dream that I started to hear a disturbing prediction: "One of these days, the Internet is going to put newspapers out of business ..."


  1. Ah.. Kroft Superstars, brings back the memories.

    Internet killed the newspapers.. just another iteration of Video Killed the Radiostar...

    There is a freedom in operating without the gatekeepers, of every ONE's ability now to reach the many, that dumps the old world hierarchies on their head.

    And so consider the possibilities, that local Hudson Dan is now free to move beyond just the local, and to engage a much greater depth and breadth of content than might have been permissible before...

    1. That's true. But there's a downside to that, some might say.

  2. Youre not alone with having weird dreams. I always dream about strange happenings.

  3. Youre not alone with having weird dreams. I always dream about strange happenings.

  4. "traveling up and down Route 9 on my belly on a piece of cardboard" LOL

    1. I have actually had this dream more than once.

    2. Like the penguin in Fight Club - SLIDE!

  5. As you know, newspapers have an alternative to death at the hands of the internet by going on the web itself, as many have done. And you and I both know what that means -- online subscription rates that are way higher than at present.

    Which means readers will have to pony up costs that will be at least as high as getting the printed newspaper by carrier.

    I would do it, and maybe you would. But the rest of America?

    I'm not optimistic, judging from whom much of the rest of America chose as their leader, a man who considers reading an elitist pastime unworthy of his stable genius.

    1. I think support for local journalism, to an extent that people will actually be paid some money to do it, will vary community by community and hinge on that community's self-perceived need for it, but more about that later. :)


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