Duane Dudek's farewell column

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Posted by ICYMI on December 28, 2014 at 09:59:11:

I was not a regular reader of Duane Dudek's column. Maybe in some form of protest at the exit of Tim Cuprisin, a real media columnist. Either way, Dudek leaving the Journal Sentinel puts another nail in that coffin of nails and as a lover of traditional media, that depresses me.

I could not remember when his last column was to be, but I figured it had to be at the end of the year at least. Well it was November 14th, and here is the column, reprinted under the public domain license.

Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.

By Duane Dudek of the Journal Sentinel
I am an early adopter of obsolete technologies, from 8-track tapes and mini-compact discs to a basement full of DVDs in an era of streaming.

I never thought newspapers would be one of them.

I started as a copy boy at the Milwaukee Sentinel, but when I became a reporter my desk mates were humor columnist Al Thien and Bill Janz, the dean of Milwaukee feature writers. One taught me not to take things too seriously and the other taught me the importance of the smallest details.

I veered between those extremes ever since.

The editor who hired me as Sentinel TV columnist warned me “don’t embarrass us.” But a colleague noted, to be a reporter is to make a fool of yourself a thousand times a week.

The job came with the movie beat. I covered both for years, then just movies, and then years later both again. And now there is none.

For years people said to me, "I wish I had your job." But it was never mine.

It belongs to a newspaper being retrofitted for the long haul. I wish it well. But my era with it ends today.

“What can you buy that you can’t already afford?" Jack Nicholson asks in “Chinatown.”

“The future, Mr. Gittes,” John Huston tells him. “The future.”

What does my future hold? Docent in a typewriter museum? Department store Santa?

Starting Monday, the curious can follow me to find out at duanedudek.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and write to me at thedudekabides@gmail.com.

Saying goodbye and thank you to your hosts is just good manners.

So, any reader who stumbled across me over the years, consider this that.

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