Friday, November 11, 2011

Two things I recently learned covering my beat
  • Just like nobody at a till knows how to count back change anymore (they have to read the register, then they give it back starting with the biggest denomination – come on, this isn’t old British money; if you can count to 10 you can count back change the right way, and you don’t even need to read the register), I’ve discovered, since I have a fountain pen (of course) and will lend it when taking notes to get someone’s name down, that teenagers now literally don’t know how to hold a pen to write.
  • Recently covered one of those earnest do-gooder teacher, social-worker and parent things: ‘let’s rap, man’ with some handpicked kids about drinking, peer pressure and drunk driving (news: teens drink; in other news, sun rises in east... the panel and I agree, don’t demonize drink and teach your kids to enjoy it responsibly). Anyway the jumping-off point of this was a survey given to local teens, in mostly rich suburbs. Interesting to this Catholic church geek: five years ago only half the kids went to church or (especially in one swath of towns) shul. Now it’s less than half. We’re turning into irreligious Europe. It’s winter for mother church and for Catholics (unlike the ’40s and ’50s: The Bells of St Mary’s, Cardinal Spellman and Bishop Sheen); at least Pope Benedict’s making it better for the faithful remnant. Maranatha.

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