From the Editor’s Desk 50


Messages from a mendicant of the now, our post-post-post-modern era: Pierre Gringoire’s long-lost cousin with a tip of the cap to Mr. Safire…

I was struggling with the context of texting for business the other day. I am occasionally lured by the talented young people I work with to exchange important information via text (not to mention the bleed through of their vernacular which I will hit later). There is upside and downside to exchanging important information via text.

The lack of searchability is the biggest downside to business text communication. If you are a heavy volume texter and you need to find something important in a single text that is somewhat old (whatever your personal standard for old is), it is a devilish task.

This is balanced by the instantaneous nature of texting1 and a certain defense embedded in texts lack of searchability. For example, send a password via email and it can found via crawlers, especially if you are dumb enough to do things like label the subject line of the email “password” or in the body of the email type it,

“log-in: johndoe123

password: mydogsam”

Send a password via text and the only way someone is stealing that is via your unlocked phone. Ditto incriminating corporate messages, unlike the emails that nefarious Wall Street Fat Cats sent admitting their deliberate and joyous efforts to grind the little people into gold dust.

Email’s riposte is that it is oh so searchable, convenience. These days on Gmail even when correspondents are horrible about changing the subject-line when changing the topic of conversation, Google searches the body text of the email so well that it hardly matters.

Archiving is email’s fatal flaw. Email is a waterfall. It is easy to feel like the rocks beneath it, taking a pounding. The weight of watching your email correspondence blow up while being unable to respond can be debilitating.

Email sucks us in, encouraging what my friend Russ calls, pebbles over rocks theory, working on the small time consuming stuff, as opposed to the big picture.

Moving a few big rocks can change your course far more than moving hundreds of pebbles.

As usual the bad guys are ahead, anti-capitalist crime breeds innovation. They aren’t texting or using email, both of those having been cracked by the Man. If a criminal is caught doing nefarious shit, unless it is a hacker, one knows one’s phone will be cracked. Ditto for one’s email. Smart criminals probably emulate the sixteen year-olds and use Snapchat. Or if they are truly up-to-date, they use Yik-Yak. Or if they are truly nefarious, they use Kik, a portal to what they call, the Deep Web.

Certainly the Man’s Men over at Fort Meade can get through about 99.98% of the fences, you know, if necessary. Their problem, ironically like the rest of us, is information overload. Their view along with the submissive 538; we needn’t worry our pretty little heads about it. 400 channels on the remote is our narcotic.

But enough internet conspiracy theory for now, how about a brighter thought?

The continued evolution of language.

Been wondering about bae? The kids have invented a brilliant new word.

Bae spans and expands the distance between best friend and boyfriend/girlfriend.

As I have seen it used, both your bestie,2 if you are single, and your significant other, if you are in a relationship, can be your bae.

Bae might be best described, “as the object of my heart’s affections.”

Most people under a certain age have such an object of their affections at all times, and that we might lose the continuous desire to have such a feeling is one of the worst coarsenings of old age.

“From the Editor’s Desk” is written by our Editor: Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel



1Some people will tell you email is instantaneous too, but only for Richie Riches who can afford the data plan.

2Youth jargon best friend. Everything must be shortened for text and tweet.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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