Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 21, 2006 / 23 Nissan, 5766

The developers of the Age of Instancy have neglected to create a pause button

By Tony Snow

Tony Snow
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now that the Great Mentioner has placed me among the candidates to become the next White House press secretary, I have learned things about myself that I never knew.


Helpful correspondents have told me where to go, what to use to fill various orifices, which pack animal I most closely resemble and my next-world destination.


Sages from afar have ascertained that I'm a Brahmin, a trilateralist, a BushBot, a puppet, a force of evil in the modern world, a White House mouthpiece-toady-stenographer merely seeking a change of station (and major cut in pay) and a toothy, well-coifed mediocrity.


One marvels at the vivacity of strangers' opinions, and the dazzling variety of their venom. Where do such passions come from? Why do people feel not merely free, but compelled to express themselves so?


This didn't use to happen to people merely mentioned for government positions. Once upon a time, speculation about staff positions was unthinkable — at best, such musing would elicit a yawn.


But that was then, when news moved at a pace that now seems glacial and when the Internet didn't spawn sparring clans who not only share, but magnify and intensify, their views.


The media revolution has scrambled the world. We get everything instantly — news, images, analysis, reaction ... everything but actual perspective. Nobody seems willing to wait for such a thing.


The political community has become so adroit in adapting to the new reality that partisans routinely issue "prebuttals" to opposition speeches they haven't heard and position papers they haven't seen. The press duly takes note of the prophetic complaints, and then solicits reactions from other people who haven't yet heard the speeches or read the papers.


Our zest for action goes deeper. The Wild West nature of the Internet has made it possible for anyone to gain notoriety in the new informational order. Otherwise anonymous characters now can rise up and change the world. The most popular left-wing weblog, The Daily Kos, boasts tens of thousands of visitors per day. The more conservative Powerlineblog does the same.


Independent players, such as Andrew Sullivan and Michelle Malkin, command impressive audiences — and all have played a role in mobilizing opinion about everything from Dan Rather's reporting on the president's National Guard duty to the conduct of the war in Iraq.


Unfortunately, the developers of the Age of Instancy have neglected to create a pause button. As a result, people now publish musings that in previous generations they merely would have tucked into a desk drawer, or left un-mailed in a sealed envelope.


The recent dust-up over Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the war drew out not only a half-dozen disgruntled generals, but equally unhappy supporters of the defense secretary. Soon, the debate shifted from postwar troop levels to overheated insults about the bravery, veracity or character of the accusers and the accused. Old Comrades became enemies.


Our instant-reaction/instant gratification culture has spawned an impressive industry in insults and incitement. Old-timers cluck in disapproval at the unseemliness of it all, but the profusion of profanity is less a sign of moral decay than fresh growth of a new medium. When new industries arise, they do so in the fashion of small volcanic islands: They emerge in a cloud of smoke and ash — heated, unstable and unformed — but over time, cool a bit and become something more solid and substantial.


We're already getting weary of the insult industry and the accompanying insinuation that one must view people with contrary views not only as political opponents, but as invading microbes, suitable for swift and complete destruction. Free people cannot live on rage alone. It makes them crazy and boring all at once.


And so, the marketplace of ideas already is taking the Internet into a kinder, gentler era. The hate mail will still arrive in droves, of course, and unimaginative souls will merely cut-and-paste what others have written. But with any luck, the taunts will become less numerous, more witty and creative, and more to the point.


A marketplace of ideas will reward the person who comes up with a good idea and bundles it up attractively — and not the poor sap who can't get past the adolescent craving to write about orifices.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor, and syndicated talk show host, Tony Snow's column by clicking here.

Tony Snow Archives

© 2005, Creators Syndicate, Inc

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles