1. Big Ten Football (Welcome to the Stone Age!)
From a seat somewhere in the exosphere, I watched Penn State lose a football game to Ohio State this weekend. It was a beautiful day and it was a terrible contest, a fitting nightcap to a weekend that again exposed the inherent weakness of the Big Ten within the rapidly shifting landscape of college football. A few months ago, I noted the critical consensus about the slow and inexorable death of Tresselball, and this was Tresselball at its worst, a slow and tedious unraveling dictated by field position and the running game and selective bomb-throwing to wide-open receivers who had outrun slow safeties into open space. Here were the conference's two best athletes at quarterback, Terrelle Pryor and Darryl Clark, each rendered entirely uninteresting, in part by the pace of the game itself. I'm not sure what the future of football might be, but I'm guessing this isn't it. But at least the view of the sunset from Row 79 of the upper deck was pastoral.
In fact, you could make a case that, at this juncture of the season, Northwestern, with its seventeen-receiver spread offense full of Ivy League-caliber geniuses with literary surnames, might be the most intimidating team in the conference. Maybe the question we should be asking ourselves isn't Why Iowa Lost; maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is how Iowa wound up undefeated in the first place.
2. Tweeting the Truth
From a column by Paul Carr of Tech Crunch, on the Tweeting of the Fort Hood tragedy:
Unsurprisingly, Moore’s coverage was quickly picked up by bloggers and mainstream media outlets alike, something that she actively encouraged by tweeting to friends that they should pass her phone number to the press so she could tell them the truth, rather than the speculative b---s--t that was hitting the wires.
There was just one problem: Moore’s information was b---s---t too.
This morning on my radio, Jeff Jarvis--unrelenting advocate of citizen journalism and all-around purveyor of futuristic journalistic brilliance--attempted to defend his cash cow in the wake of these glaring inaccuracies, while Carr proclaimed what we all know deep inside: That a great deal of "citizen journalism" is essentially the dissemination of unconfirmed rumors. And at one point, Jarvis actually said something like this: Life is messy. The Internet is life. Ergo, the Internet is messy. I may have misquoted him slightly, but given his standards, I suppose it doesn't matter. I suppose I could say that Jeff Jarvis strangled a standard poodle this morning, and as long as I corrected the record later in the day, it would be fine, because life is messy like that, and the Internet is messy, and I am merely a Luddite standing in the way of progress, and the future is based upon a world in which everything is free and lived in public and in real time and without filter and played to an online audience, and the truth itself is a secondary concern.