SKIMMING THE NEWS

We saw the two young (both 28-years-old) women  — Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin — who co-founded “The Skimm” on TV. Colbert, I think. Yup, Colbert. Garry was slightly outraged because he thinks everyone should read a newspaper and this is just one more step in the dumbing down of the news … and everything else. Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but being well-informed is godliness. If you don’t know what’s going on in the world, you cannot get into heaven.

(There will be a quiz at the gate. Spelling and punctuation count.)

Although I agree about the whole dumbing down thing, I also think you can’t reverse the way culture changes. You can become an old curmudgeon. You can join the ranters and ravers on social media, but it won’t stop change from happening. Especially since most people don’t regularly read a newspaper and aren’t going to start.

But. Many people try to keep in touch with current events and I believe more would if they could do it without investing a lot of time, money, or effort.

I was curious. Unlike Garry, I don’t read a newspaper. Haven’t in years. I read articles when something interests me. New Yorker articles more or less daily. Books (mostly audiobooks) constantly, though the literature I read is designed to keep me out of rather than in touch. I thought a one page news summary delivered to my inbox — especially if written with humor and style — might fit nicely into my world. Keep me sufficiently up-to-date so I don’t sound like Gary Johnson who didn’t know what or where Aleppo is (was?) … but would not require serious commitment to daily newspaper perusal.

I looked up The Skimm. I didn’t know how to spell it, but Google doesn’t care, they fix your spelling. It’s free, so I signed up. I signed Garry up too. Sneaky sneaky.

skimm-founders-628x314

And, it turns out, I like it. It’s well written. Pithy. Witty. Clever. Leans a little to the left, which works for me. I find myself looking for it. Looking forward to it. It’s not exactly a deep, analytical purview of the news, but it gives me an idea what’s happening and to and by whom it’s happening. A place to start if I’m interested.

Despite himself, Garry likes it too. He didn’t want to like it. Doesn’t entirely approve of it. I suspect he considers it cheating on some existential level, like reading the classic comic instead of the book. Nonetheless, he reads it. So, in case you’d like to give it a try, here’s a link for you to click: THE SKIMM SHARE LINK

classic-comics_no_01_three_musketeersNOTE: If you are young, you’ve probably never encountered a classic comic. Pity about that. You haven’t lived until you’ve read the comic book version of an assigned book and used it as the basis of a book report or essay. For which you got an A.

The Skimm gives prizes for sharing their link, by the way. However, no prize would make me write about it if I didn’t like it.

I’m enjoying it. I think you might, too. Not only do I feel a bit better informed in a general kind of way, but I get at least one good chuckle with each read — and it is no more than five minutes of my time.

I can spare five minutes for an overview of the news.

16 thoughts on “SKIMMING THE NEWS

      • I’ve calmed down a bit from my pious stance on journalism. I yam who I yam. I’m reading “The Skimm” and, yes, it has style. It’s a cliff notes offering for those too busy to read or follow the news. A little knowledge, I guess, is better than no knowledge.

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  1. Oh I loved Classic Comics. I never used them for book reports, but I did find Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated, to be far more terrifying than Edgar Allan Poe as just words on the page. I still have nightmares about “Pit and the Pendulum”…

    And like you, I skip rather than skim when it comes to news, especially the political stuff. If I can’t change it, or influence it, and if it’s not going to happen Right Here, then I’d just as soon not watch. Most of the time.

    Fun is useful. I’ll check it out now, and thanks.

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  2. My generation used Cliff’s Notes to do our book reports when we didn’t want to read the endless prose of Melville or Hawthorne or Hemingway. That even seems quaint now compared to all of the ways the internet has surely made it even easier for students to be lazy…

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  3. We do get a newspaper everyday, Marilyn. I agree you have to know what’s going on. But we also have to interpret what is being said and why. I signed up for the Skimm to see what they have to say. (I find myself saying – yah right, a lot)
    Leslie

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