Plenty of bloggers have ranted about the death of publishing and the end of newspapers…but did you ever consider what the newspaper might look like for that final run of the presses? It probably will look an awful lot like the brilliant website “The Final Edition“.
The Final Edition is a satire, clearly, but it takes mocking to a whole new level. For example, check out their prose in the headline article “The New York Times, World’s Newspaper of Record, Closes Its Doors Forever“:
The New York Times, since 1851 a chronicler of world history spanning three centuries has turned its final page.
The global definer of news, the cultural arbiter of the civilized world, the defender of free speech, has as it were, kicked the bucket. It has croaked, snuffed it and flat-lined. This paper is, as it were, dead.
Some believe the reason for the paper’s eventual demise was that its vaunted exceptionalism turned out to be a chimera. In the final analysis it was no different from any other self-described “great” American newspaper. The problem at its core was a far-flung and as it were, dysfunctional family which produced neither the unanimity nor the heirs necessary to lead the publication through challenging times. Says historian and conservative “media squeeze” Niall Ferguson: “the Times’ decline was not unlike that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.”
For reference, this is an actual excerpt from the front page of the New York Times website, entitled “A Fruit with a Future“:
IF there is one thing the dragon fruit has mastered, it’s the art of the Hollywood entrance.
Dragon fruit, a current darling, is popping up all over the place, including in teas.
It’s not uncommon to hear a chorus of beguiled gasps when a dragon fruit — also known as pitaya or pitahaya — is placed in front of an audience. From the outside the fruit looks like a hot pink bulb ringed with a jester’s crown of curly greenish petals. Slice it open, and there’s a white (or, on rare occasions, fuchsia) scoop of sweet pulp speckled with tiny black seeds. Either way, it suggests an Easter bonnet that Cruella de Vil might wear in a drag remake of “101 Dalmatians,” or an Italian ice meant to be spooned up for space freaks in the cantina scene in “Star Wars.”
The prose and style are disturbingly similar (and who would have thought references to the Star Wars Cantina and 101 Dalmatians would be the REAL article?)! And if “The Final Edition” were just the one article, that would be funny all by itself. But they’ve taken the time to copy the style of several New York Times columnists from Maureen Dowd to Paul Krugman, plus the site runs “ads” for Starbucks-scented perfume. The level of detail and attention is just incredible.
Seriously, if you’re looking to lose a half hour just surfing around, giggling uncontrollably and confusing your co-workers, I highly recommend “The Final Edition“. Something tells me if the real New York Times ever heads down such an unfortunate path, it won’t be nearly as amusing!