I've concluded the International Herald Tribune is in deep trouble. I think I know why and what to do. I've offered my services, I haven't received a reply.
What's taking up a part of my creative day is something that any lover of the International Herald Tribune really ought to visit, because it hints at the sorts of directions the IHT needs to go in.
At www.aplaceintheauvergne.blogspot.com I very, very rarely write myself.
Instead I practice what I call 'Information Ebru', connecting the dots, leaving space for the reader to either escape to or write their own story about Earth.
This blog is a destination for those who spend most of their lives 'inside', be it their office, airplanes, their own country or their own local media perspective of Earth.
It's a place to escape to, to go 'outside', perhaps to dream.
It's also a destination for people who want to understand what on Earth is going on, but who don't have the time to do so.
I try to filer the already filtered.
Every information source has is its problems (Noam and others, I know); in the time I have available I can only use the one I trust the most in the world - the Paris-based newspaper, the International Herald Tribune, owned by the New York Times.
Their talented editors have already compacted the day's events into 20-odd pages. I think they use something in the region of 1% of all the articles that they have access to and which their editors study every day.
What I then do is to take that 1% and post about 1% of that on this blog. (Some of what I post I agree with, some of it appals me. You too can draw your own conclusions.)
However, what I don't do is follow the traditional main stream media (MSM)information hierarchies (with their distinct pages of news by geographical region, opinion and editorial and their sections on business,culture, sport etc.).
My premise is that (MSM) is parochial and uses information hierarchies, and time lines, which serve as barriers to understanding our world. (This is why MSM is in trouble, which is a shame because the better ones, and the better news agencies, are our eyes and ears and they need to be paid. I hope readers click on to the links I provide to www.iht.com and explore their website and earn them money.)
I then juxtapose pictures of the very simple life I lead along side the Information Ebru, because to understand the narrative of the 6 billion it helps to follow the narrative of just one of them.
I find it humanizes and gives a framework of reference to a story that is otherwise too vast to get a handle on.
Since the beginning of April, I have been regretfully spending virtually all my days inside, at my computer, working on the PR for the publication of the paperback of my book, A Place in My Country, which comes out on 1st, May 2008.
It has not been pleasant: working virtually in 'The Shop', the confinement, the lack of time for my family and friends. It reminds me of a life I once led and will never return to, but all that is better explained in A PLACE IN MY COUNTRY.
Again, if you haven't visted www.aplaceintheauvergne.blogspot.com you will also know that it is equally rare for me to make a posting of great length.
However, the edited article (paragraph breaks on this blog normally indicate where I have edited a piece down) from The New York Times Magazine and in the IHT of Saturday, April 12, 2008, seemed to capture so many of the ideas and stories I am interested in.
(It's interesting to note that its web reference is under anthropology, although the IHT ran it as their lead Business section story. Ebru, a Turkish art form, has been used by an anthropologist as a metaphor for society.)
As it also deals with, inter alia, how we communicate - what I have been doing all month - it also seemed a good note on which to announce that www.aplaceintheauvergne.blogspot.com is officially on holiday until the beginning of May.
It's the kids' holidays as of Friday evening, for two weeks; I have to go to Paris next week for a medical RDV, then return briefly before leaving The Valley and heading to 'The Shop'.
I have also learnt that closely studying, every day, world news, and carefully and slowly comparing other people's experiences with the enormous good fortune of myself and my family, can be a harrowing experience.
I very much want to stop.I won't for at least one full calendar year, but I will enjoy this early spring break.
This coming August - if I make it - will be the third anniversary of our time here in the Auvergne, and the first time since I was seven when I will have lived, more or less continually, in exactly the same spot for more than three calendar years.
This is my place now. Please go and explore it at www.aplaceintheauvergne.blogspot.com while I'm gone.
My story for the year thus far?
If 2007 was the year when the world finally took on board climate change, 2008 will be the year when the world finally takes on board the global food crisis.
Land and water, energy, population, industrialisation, migration, inflation.
I pose the question like this:
6 billion to 9 billion by 2050 = WHAT?
IF YOU RUN A NEWSPAPER OR NEWS SITE AND WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MY THEORIES ON HOW YOU CAN SURVIVE, PLEASE WRITE TO ME AT INFO AT IANWALTHEW DOT COM. IT DOESN'T SEEM THE IHT/NYT IS GOING TO, AND ON MY RETURN AND I AM GOING TO TURN TRAITOR AND START CONTACTING OTHER NEWSPAPERS WHO MIGHT LIKE TO LISTEN, UNLESS I HEAR FROM THE IHT.