Somebody has to take the blame so why not blame it on the Internet? Stores are dropping like flies, newspapers are folding and for the first time in 51 years Ebony Fashion Fair has been cancelled. What is the world coming to?

I’ve been trying to analyze the whole thing for a while now. When it comes to stores closing I’m not surprised.


So many stores are duplicates of the one across the street or a mile away. We can only shop so many places and I think the Internet has had an impact on much of the retail world. We shop online for everything these days. You can shop in your pajamas, order the merchandise and it shows up on your porch.


Have you ever wondered why there are sales every time you walk into a department store like Macy’s? It’s because they have to compete with stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross and my beloved Gabriel’s. We want a bargain, plain and simple.

As for information, we want it fast and in a 30- second sound bite. Magazines, newspapers and radio stations are competing with cable and the Internet for advertising dollars. Advertisers can only spread the money around so far. We’re living in a microwave world. “I want it now, fast, hurry up and give it to me quick.”

When we heard the rumors that Michael Jackson had experienced a heart attack we didn’t go and sit next to the radio or wait for the paper to come out the next morning we turned on our computers, Blackberry’s, CNN, VH1 and BET for our instant fix of news. By the time the magazine hit the stands we had seen most of the information hundreds of times.

Personally, I’m from the old school. I can’t wait until my Ebony and Essence drop in my mailbox. On Sunday mornings I have to have my Sunday paper. It’s like a ritual. When I didn’t work for the New Pittsburgh Courier I still had to have my “Courier” in hand and I didn’t want to read someone else’s, I had to have my own. Now that I’m an employee I buy more than one and give them to people who can’t seem to locate them.

When I heard the news that Ebony Magazine “might” be looking for a buyer or a financial partner I was saddened. It was surely another “say it isn’t so” moment. At that same time I was shocked to find out that Essence was no longer Black-owned. How did I miss that?

First WAMO, then Dwelling House now Essence—how much news like this can a “sista” take? “Oh my goodness Elizabeth, I’m coming.”

I just got the news that Barnes & Noble  in Squirrel Hill is closing. Panera Bread on Murray Avenue closed in August. Barnes & Noble will close their doors at the end of the year. In that same newscast it was confirmed that GM doesn’t have a buyer for Saturn.

We have always been a people who wanted choices. Are there too many choices now that we can’t sustain them all? The American car has lost its appeal, we would rather shop on eBay than the store down the street, we’re reading the paper online.

Somebody make it like it was, hurry up quick.

(E-mail the columnist at

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