Ladies and Gentlemen, we are witnessing a cultural tragedy. The great medium of print on paper, which has been spreading civilization and enlightening minds since the days of Gutenberg, is dying a slow death.
But this is a needless loss and we will not sit passively by as print fades away.
Consider all the things print on paper has going for it. The newspaper has everything needed to thrive in the digital age. The form factor is handy and convenient; it is lightweight and portable, you can fold it up and tuck it into your pants pocket; it is readable by the dimmest light, even candlelight. Print on paper is energy efficient, needs no batteries, and can display complex, detailed graphics admirably and in color.
Print never freezes up; a misplaced finger on a sheet of paper never causes an embarrassing display of pornography. It never makes unexpected noises, demands updates, catches viruses or gets lost under the car seat. Print is environmentally friendly and recycles safely. No poor Asian children are exposed to toxins in the process.
The newspaper is widely distributed; from your doorstep to the trendiest coffeehouses, it is there to inform and entertain you. The newspaper is a miracle of versatility. When the content is consumed you can chastise your dog with it.
So why is it going away? Why, with all its advantages, is print on paper a failing proposition? What magical ingredient do all other digital media possess that newspapers lack?
The answer is obvious: TERMS OF SERVICE. While all other media demand your attention and command your undying loyalty in stark, legal language, only print on paper gives itself freely, without preconditions, to an unappreciative public.
That which comes cheaply is valueless and despised. We will now remedy that situation and save the newspaper from ignoble bankruptcy.
By accessing the content of this column, "The Ultimate Meaning of All Life Revealed," you assent to the following TERMS OF SERVICE.
You agree that all thoughts, ideas, concepts, software, apps and products provoked by, and/or related to the subjects addressed in this column are the sole property of this newspaper and its publishers.
You agree not to share, distribute or monetize said ideas without express permission from the principals, and to disgorge and disperse any monies earned in any way whatsoever to us, our agents or assignees, upon demand. We so demand.
Your privacy is our highest concern. We shall not share your email addresses, physical locations, product preferences, marital status or gender identification with any third party unless we are well compensated by same.
At our sole discretion, we shall reserve and revoke your rights to the content of this column and enjoyment thereof. The causes of such action include, but are not limited to, abuse of the author, bullying of the publisher, refusal to patronize our lawful advertisers, failure to laugh at our jokes, missing the point of our essays, and any rejection of the Socratic wisdom offered herein.
Access to this content, whether by print, computer, smartphone, smart-watch, Google Glass or similar device, is limited to one pair of eyes in one human head, unless recipient possesses but one eye, in which case said recipient is authorized to read it twice.
You agree not to divulge the meaning, thrust or portent of the content to any third party without crediting the source, Allan Goldstein, in the most complimentary terms possible. This provision shall be strictly enforced.