Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From David Warren's farewell column:

The terrible, hidden cost of "mass communications" is overlooked in the race to make them bigger and faster. The debilitating effect of mere information has ceased to be an issue in our "information age."

Jonathan Swift - himself an ingenious hack - conveyed this in the metaphor of Lemuel Gulliver, shipwrecked in the land of Lilliput, tied down by a thousand tiny threads. His works have the character of prophecy.

We live in a media-saturated environment, wherein prophecy has been replaced by prediction. I have tried, in this paper, through a number of years, to resist this temptation; and even though cast as a political pundit, to turn attention whenever possible to the larger view. Who knows if I have accomplished anything?

With this last Sunday number of the Ottawa Citizen, I am taking my leave. The editors of the paper have been good to me over the years, and have stood behind me stalwartly through heat. I leave without recriminations.

I may well write for the paper in future, but not three times a week on staff. So far as I have any gifts at all, I will apply them in what remains of my life to argue for the Catholic religion, and defend nobility in every humane form, according to my faith and conscience. But I may no longer belong in "mainstream media;" may never have belonged, and must be on my way.