So this is the 700th post on Mr. Dilettante. Just wanted to note that in passing. Now, on to the bullets.
- Word comes that The Capital Times is ending its 90-year run as a daily afternoon paper in Madison. I never liked the Cap Times much -- it's long billed itself as "your progressive voice," and the type of progress they advocate (relentless expansion of government) hardly seems like progress to me. It will now become a twice weekly tabloid and will mostly devote its efforts to its internet presence. I'm not sure that the Cap Times will do much better in this arena, where they will be competing for eyeballs with Kos, HuffPo and rest of the portside commentariat. Madison is still a lefty place but especially on the west side of town the populace tends to be affluent and less inclined to subscribe to the oppositional leftism that the Cap Times has long pushed. My guess is that the Cap Times will continue to struggle in its new incarnation. They never liked Joseph Schumpeter much at the Cap Times, but as usual his insight was better than what they had on offer.
- It's the most hype-filled day of the year -- NFL Draft Day. Of all the marketing triumphs that the National Football League has accomplished in its history, Draft Day has to be the most amazing. A two-day administrative exercise is now an industry where amazing amounts of contradictory information and opinions are synthesized into a quasi-scientific goulash that millions of addled fans swallow whole. And yep, I'm one of those fans. I have spent a lot of time in my life watching the musings of Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Mort, Boomer and the rest of the refugees from the S. I . Newhouse School of Public Communications that dot the ESPN roster. Back in the day I spent many hours on beautiful spring afternoons holed up with the Anonymous Truck Driver, watching endless commercials and pointless discussions of the vertical leaping abilities of Darrell Thompson or the 40 time of Tony Mandarich, both of whom came through the NFL without making even the slightest impression despite the thousands of hours of analysis offered on their behalf. Even though the weather today is abysmal, I'm really going to try to stay away from the screen this afternoon. Good luck with that. So, who are those Packers going to take anyway?
- We were supposed to start Ben's baseball season today. I guess the snow on the ground put a stop to that. I wonder if Kate Knuth could do something useful and cap and trade some of this foul weather for me. . . .