Monday, December 29, 2008
Mountaineering with Monica
There are certain self-published voices on the internet that feel like odd soulmates, and everyone has their own taste in voices in the same way people have yearnings towards different kinds of music and food.
I stumbled across Monica's voice last April after writing a fiery condemnation of Palm Springs' only downtown bookstore being replaced by a stupid retail outlet devoted to "Life Is Good" merchandise (click here). When I Googled for some information about the company and the Palm Springs opening, I came across Monica's recently launched "Astrology Mundo" blog where she wrote about the very same event except from a laudatory business viewpoint, mixed in with some astrological musings (click here).
Our yin/yang accounts, oddly enough, were complementary rather than contradictory and between the two of us there was a holistic picture of the evening, something not possible with just one narrator.
This is the real future of journalism, where a community of voices and links offer the reader anything from a surface glance to a deep, historical look at any subject.
Monica is a New Yorker who's been a professional journalist most of her life.
Currently she's followed her husband who works in the golf industry in the Coachella Valley, while she works virtually over the computer for her New York employers.
I invited her to a hike in nearby Tahquitz Canyon where she peppered me with questions like the omnivorous, curious character that all great journalists are, and I returned her rapid-fire scan with questions of my own.
Thanks to people like myself who are creating journalism for free out of love and political purpose and a need to clear out the thickets of lies being fed to us by the owners of media conglomerates, Monica's job is fast becoming as extinct as travel agents in the digital world.
Professional story-telling, truth-telling journalists are more important than ever so I think Monica, with her clear-eyed fascination with the world, will be making the transition to the new journalistic order just fine. The real question is how to make a decent living at it.