By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Three for Thursday

There’s so much going on this morning that I can barely keep up. And I really need to return to (shhh!) the Book. So here’s a quick roundup, to be followed by a more important matter, and then (I tell myself sternly) that’s it for today.

  • Don’t miss Michael Levenson’s splendid Boston Globe article on the millions of dollars being spent on Beacon Hill by developers looking to build casinos in Massachusetts. Levinson wins extra bonus points for referring to “gambling interests” rather than the PR-ish “gaming interests” so beloved by those trying to improve the image of their miserable industry. As Dick Hirsch says of “gaming”: “They are trying to wrap a noxious substance in an elegant package in order to conceal its toxicity, deodorize it and tell us what a benefit it will be.”
  • Very sad news about Steve Jobs’ decision to step down as Apple’s chief executive. Forgive me if I’ve said this before: he may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard, always keeping his focus on what users want – and even on what they don’t know they want. He is a visionary and quite possibly a genius. The must-read is this essay by Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. Don’t skip the video. Though it is universally believed that Jobs is gravely ill, I hope he can contribute to Apple in a reduced capacity for a long time to come.
  • Best wishes to Jim Romenesko, the indefatigable media blogger who announced his semi-retirement yesterday. Starting in the 1990s, Romenekso – first at his own site, later for the Poynter Institute – has been linking to (and offering short, intelligent commentary on) every bit of media news and gossip he can find. Especially in the early days of the Internet, he gave alt-weekly types like me a small national readership. Here’s a piece I wrote about him for the Boston Phoenix in 1999, when he announced the move to Poynter. And here’s a Phoenix article written by Mark Jurkowitz in 2005 on the dread “Romenesko effect.” Good luck to Jim, the best friend obscure media columnists like me ever had.

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  1. Paul Bass

    Nice heartfelt tributes, including to Shafer above. (Worth a break from book-writing!)

  2. Nial Lynch

    Bettors Better Betters

    The term “Gaming” has been in regular and continuous use since the 1950s when the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission were created by their legislature.

  3. Michael Pahre

    Taken a look at the legislation filed earlier this week on gambling?

    I predict that it creates a new agency to oversee the stuff and has the word “Gaming” in the name of the agency.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Michael: It’s a fine line. It’s about gambling. But they’re gaming us.

  4. “Though it is universally believed that Jobs is gravely ill, I hope he can contribute to Apple in a reduced capacity for a long time to come.”

    Too bad he can’t contribute to Apple anymore, he was amazing!

    RIP Steve Jobs

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