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beginnings and endings: The Eagles end their American tour by performing the first-ever concert at Rio Tinto in Sandy. Click Arts&Life index for a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

Today's word on journalism

May 12, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Eagles break new ground
Rio Tinto is a virgin no more . . . thanks to Joe Walsh and company. Saturday night, the Eagles performed the first-ever concert at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. / By Ben Hansen, special contributor

Can the Internet kill the radio star?
In a time when traditional media providers are constantly evolving, and in most cases, constantly struggling to try and stay afloat amidst the growing popularity of the worldwide web, Mike Carver believes there is reason to be positive about the future of radio. / By Dan Fawson

Why Sound shakes up Logan's music scene
Picture Logan's nightlife. There's bowling, the Fun Park and too many restaurants. Oh, and don't forget Logan's unique music scene. / By Adam Christensen

Logan's music lovers say why not, flock to Why Sound
After booking bands from Austria, Japan and Canada during its first year, Why Sound is feeling pretty good about how things have shaped out for their unique business. It's the only music venue in Cache Valley, and it all started on the East Coast. / By Ty Mortensen

Monster Circus a rocker's Vegas
Have you ever been to a rock 'n' roll circus before? If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas in the next couple of months, you will definitely want to figure this into your plans. / By Ben Hansen, special contributor

Queensryche cleans out the archives, live
Year after year, loyal Queensryche fans have attended shows with the fantasy of hearing some of the older, more obscure material from the bands early days. With 12 studio albums, 20 million albums sold, and almost 30 years behind them, the chances seemed remote. What the band delivered at the Depot club this week was beyond any fan's wildest expectations. / By Ben Hansen, special contributor


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