Time to finally get a Smartphone? NYTIMES columnist Roger Cohen says it’s already too late.

Time to finally get a Smartphone? NYTIMES columnist Roger Cohen says it’s already too late.

IMG_1886A Black Hole recently appeared on my flip phone.


NYTIMES, 2/23/16

I bought a new one for $12 but have yet to program, limping along with unread texts (or who knows, maybe sexts). The major advantage of a flip phone is when you lose it — happens often– it’s only $12. Time for a Smart Phone already.

But we hardly need yet another DTA (digitally transmitted addiction), already having fallen in Apres TJ le Deluge. Roger Cohen says addicts check their phones 221 times daily.


“Liberty leading the people” (Delacroix) on the barricades against invading Smart Phone barbarians

Before starting this magazine, I might have been on the barricade with Roger Cohen sympathizing with his near eulogy — half self-deprecation, half self-congratulation — on the death of the reader. And from what better barricade than the print pages of the New York Times’ Opinion-Editorial Columns.

In his doleful lament on the digital transmission of language, Cohen brings up the poor calligrapher displaced by Gutenberg. Why not go all the way back to the 7th Letter where Plato accuses written language of doing injury to memory and meaning?

Born in 1955 before the newly-termed Bridge Generation, Cohen’s uneasy journey over the Bridge seems one of “passing,” of a ventriloquizing self. More of loss than gain.

Finally, Roger’s fear — all eyes on their smartphone — is that there can be “no community at all with downward gazes.”

But in our short time, we have found plenty of communities Of The Town: at Writers and Books at Lux at ButaPub at the Bibliophile Society at the People’s Party  Just to name a few.


Gutenberg spreading the word. Sorry, calligraphers.

And ones not sundered but tethered together by digital technology (where we have tried to play a small part).

And if you are reading this, there must still be readers.

Speaking of which — without sounding like a WXXI pitch — this magazine, this community, will not survive without your literary and visual contributions. A community needs readers and writers.

On “The Bridge Generation:” Born 1960 – 1980

Guys, dolls and apples at the Writers and Books Scavenger Hunt for Rochester Reads

What Millennials think of the Bridge Generation at Lux Lounge.

Bringing wisdom and beer to the masses with Jake Kwiatkowski

Rejoice, Book Lovers. The Bibliophile Society of Rochester revitalized!

On the People’s Party with DJ Alykhan. And raising $500 for Chess, Rhymes and Wisdom

“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” And how much of this will you read?

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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