Jun 14, 201012:00 AM
The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

Errol Laborde: Modern Times

In 2005 I was at a convention of city magazines in Chicago. During the breaks between sessions, I noticed how practically everyone was standing in the hall with a hand to their ear, a phenomenon my mom used to describe as people looking like they had earaches. By then the age of universal cell phones had already arrived, but to see them used so intensely in one concentrated setting was amusing.

Last week I attended the same conference, this time in Providence, R.I. During the first couple of breaks, I looked to see the earache people and noticed that they were not there. No one was using his or her cell phone. What happened?

I realized the answer once the sessions started. While speakers spoke, I glanced around and noticed that those in the audience were staring down pecking messages on their laptops, smart phones or iPads. There was no need to wait for a break; the messages flowed continuously.

Remembering those conventions makes me, I will admit, feel rather inadequate because neither in 2005 nor last week was there anything going on in my life that was so important that I needed to be in continuous contact. Fact is, I could have left my cell phone in the room, and it would not have made a big difference. There was one time when the phone beeped. I am so desperate for text messages that, during basketball season, I signed up for the Hornets game updates, so I am on the team’s list. While my colleagues were texting their peers, I was no doubt the only one in Providence who got a message from the NBA announcing that the Hornets had selected a new coach. Maybe during the break I could have pretended to be calling the coach on my cell phone to offer congratulations.

Technologically I will admit that I am up to maybe 2006. I have urged a global technological moratorium of perhaps four years so that the rest of us could have a chance to catch up. So far my movement has no known supporters, but once it gets on Wikipedia, it may catch on.

Meanwhile, I am worried that with so many people sending messages back and forth that there is something going on that I don’t know about. Please, somebody, let me in. Besides, it is still four months before basketball season starts again.

Krewe: The Early New Orleans Carnival- Comus to Zulu by Errol Laborde is available at all area bookstores. Books can also be ordered via e-mail at gdkrewe@aol.com or (504) 895-2266)

WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M. ON WYES-TV, CHANNEL 12. NOW ON WIST RADIO, 690 AM, THE ERROL LABORDE SHOW, 8 A.M. AND 5 P.M. SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS AND 6 P.M. MONDAYS.

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The Editor's Room

Weekly Commentary with New Orleans Magazine’s Errol Laborde

about

Errol LabordeErrol Laborde holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Orleans and is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing. In that capacity he serves as editor/associate publisher of New Orleans Magazine and editor/publisher of Louisiana Life magazine.

Errol is also a producer and a regular panelist on Informed Sources, a weekly news discussion program broadcast on public television station WYES-TV, Channel 12. Errol is a three-time winner of the Alex Waller Award, the highest award given in print journalism by the Press Club of New Orleans. He also received the National and City Regional Magazine Association Award for Best Column for his New Orleans Magazine column, beating out 76 city magazines across the country. In 2013, Errol received the award for the "Best News Affiliated Blog," awarded by the Press Club of New Orleans.

Errol’s most recent books are Krewe: The Early Carnival from Comus to Zulu and Marched the Day God: A History of the Rex Organization. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and traveling with his wife, Peggy, to anywhere they can get away to, but some of his favorite spots are the Caribbean and historic locations around Louisiana. You can reach Errol at (504) 830-7235 or errol@myneworleans.com.

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