A few quick notes while attending the state AA volleyball tournament:

  • Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award for nonfiction. It remains in my TBR pile and has in fact moved down in the stack as there’s a couple books since received which I have committments to review. Willaim T. Vollman’s Europe Central won the fiction award.
  • My wife and I watched the Wings for Wheels documentary DVD in the Born to Run 30th Anniversary box set Wednesday night. While there’s some interesting interview and archival material, I found it too meandering and unfocused. I could have used more of the 1973 concert film from which three performances are tacked on the DVD.
  • The volleyball tournament prompts observations about the local daily’s web site. Some may recall that last year the paper tried a blog — which crashed and burned shortly thereafter since it was never updated. Now, in a day where South Dakota Public Broadcasting is streaming games live over the internet, the daily can’t even keep its web presence up to date. When I checked at 8 a.m., there was a couple paragraph story about the Thursday afternoon games, which were both done more than 12 hours before. Now, a couple hours later, there is a story that the site claims to have been posted at 2:55 a.m. which is about — yesterday’s 2 p.m. game. Still nary a word about the evening games. Hard to believe it takes more than 12 hours to put a sports story on a web site but this evidently reflects the daily’s committment to an electronic presence.

Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.

Ben Hecht

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