ORLY, Virginia?

ORLY, Virginia?

Note: If NPR can run David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries” for the past 20 years, we’re not ashamed to dust off for the third year this letter to Santa from one Virginia O’Hanlan and Santa’s reply.

Dear Santa: I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say that newspapers are dead. Papa says, “If Santa says it’s so, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, Santa, are there still newspapers?

Virginia O’Hanlan

Virginia: Your friends are wrong. They have been affected by the blog posts of an electronic age, made dull-witted by too many episodes of “Jersey Shore.” They do not believe except what they can read in 140-character tweets on Twitter and what they can poke on Facebook.

Yes, Virginia, there are newspapers. They exist as certainly as books and magazines and the U.S. Postal Service.

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no newspapers. It would be as dreary as if there were no subscribers. There would be no Dilbert comics, no Dear Abby, no crossword puzzles, no Sudoku. We should have no enjoyment, except in videos of cats on YouTube.

No newspapers? Thank Gutenberg’s ghost, they survive, and will continue forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, newspapers will continue to miss the front porch by at least 15 feet, will still inform and entertain, delight and infuriate and leave black ink stains on your fingers.

Santa Claus

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