Something is happening to me and I am not sure why. Maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe watching the world economy collapse is making me reevaluate what is important and what is not important.

Like you, I now find myself working harder for less. When that happens, people tend to become impatient with trivia. They simply don’t have time to waste on foolishness.

And so, with a sharper focus prompted by advancing years or economic worry – or both – I find that most of what I read in my daily newspaper is utterly worthless. I suddenly realize that the majority of the headlines that reach out in an attempt to grab my attention are not worth the effort to scan them. They are either abysmally trivial, insult my intelligence, or both.

The following are real headlines pulled from real newspapers that I read. The odds are good you’ve seen these headlines, too.



I read this article and learned that a certain kind of songbird travels more than 300 miles a day on its annual migration, and scientists have no idea how they do it.

Let me solve the mystery: they do it by flapping their little wings really, really hard and fast. That’s how they do it. Mystery solved.

Here is what I want to know: can I eat those songbirds? If not, don’t bother me and don’t waste any more time and money on the problem – because it isn’t a problem. Instead of spending valuable time and money figuring out how birds fly fast, concentrate on discovering a new, clean, cheap energy source we need to stop industrial civilization from collapsing.



Gee, I wonder why? The headline seems to argue that it is a mystery why prices don’t go up as sales go up. But it isn’t a mystery. Any idiot now knows home sales are rising because the price for houses is dropping. The lower the price goes, the more homes will be bought.

This headline presumes that you and I know nothing about basic economics and that we are likely to buy stuff that we don’t need and cannot afford and it is a mystery when we stopped buying stuff we don’t need or cannot afford.

This headline reflects a way of thinking that is dying or dead. The economic depression we are entering killed it. We may have been mindless consumers once, but we can’t afford to be stupid about our money any longer. We are through buying stuff we can’t afford or don’t need. If they want us to buy stuff, then they should make stuff we need and sell it for a price we can afford.



This is another headline for the Who Gives a F**k file. Perhaps there was a time when people could afford to waste valuable time worrying about the appropriate color to wear when they write a sonnet or fix a computer, but that time is gone. It is time to worry about keeping the lights on and heat in the house.



How much money did someone spend to figure this out? I know women can spot a cute baby better and faster than men and I didn’t waste a nickel hiring anyone to research the problem – because it isn’t a problem: it is something everyone who has been to a mall knows. Stop wasting my time telling me things I already know.



This headline is for an article that is basically a big advertisement for a new product – which no one is going to buy. Here is the choice being presented: you can either spend money buying dinner for you and your wife or you can spend that same money on a pill that will make your wife’s eyelashes longer. Anyone who chooses the pill is a moron. I choose to have dinner with my wife. Her short eyelashes are just fine for all normal purposes.



How does knowing that animals plan stuff help me pay my bills? If animals are planning to break into my home and kill me while I am sleeping, then I want to know more. But otherwise I simply don’t care.



Apparently there is a lot of aluminum in Japan right now – more aluminum than the Japanese have had in years. One question: so what? Why would anyone other than a Japanese aluminum seller or buyer care how much aluminum is stockpiled in Japan? Who is the super genius that made the decision to put this story in my newspaper?

None of these headlines are worth the ink used to print them. The information they provide is either wrong or worthless. It is no wonder why newspapers across the country are closing down or cutting back. Time is precious now more than since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Either give us news we can use, or go away.


14 Responses to “NEWS YOU CAN’T USE”

  1. now if it was the Japanese are stock piling food and here are its locations, that would be good, or gold would be even better, so long as we also got the blue prints to the security system.

    And, who give a f**k about animals planning for the future, unless of course its where they hibernate, so we can kill their arse and eat the fury little or big for that matter, buggers.

    I would however venture PNB, that should you be able to deliver the location of the universal reporters Bolt hole, it might possible be worth something of value, its a given, these cretin would be high on the pre registered offensive or Harassment and Interdiction fire plans when this whole joint goes to shit and I want revenge and urgently need to sate the desire to cap some arse but in numerical quantities larger than 1.


  2. Here’s how we can make some of these headlines worth are time: Find these birds with the fluttering wings. Take them to your local utility company and tell them to use the birds’ flapping as alternative energy.

    Animals plan for the future? Awesome. My cat’s my new accountant and my dog is my new auto mechanic. Neither charge much–just food, water and a good scratch at the end of the day.

    This would all be fine and dandy until PETA found out. Damn PETA.


  3. Correction: “our” time not “are” time.



  4. Jen you do realise that your cat will rip you off with a smile on its furry face and that your dog will sleep on the job?

    Paul, you should spend more time like me wandering through the newsphere looking for interesting articles on green building design and Military technology much more rewarding.


  5. Yes Chaz but I fail to see how this is different from their human counterparts. ;D


  6. Jen – they aren’t. Just cheaper is all.
    Paul – if I weren’t so lazy I’d do some research on newspapers during the Great Depression. Yeah, apparently it was really great. Then I’d do some sort of comparative analysis (if I knew what that was).What sort of crap did they write about back then? The average wingspeed of the European Swallow? Or did they just steal each others’ Bonnie and Clyde stories and run piccies of Mrs Mussolini smoking Sobranes?
    I blame the internet with its instant news, leaving the paper scribes with bugger all to write about. So that’s what they do.


  7. Jenn but you love them hence the reason why they know they’ll get away with whereas humans? they’re just like that!

    have just realised this doens’t make sense oh well…


  8. Aluminum stock piles in japan are a huge issue to a country like Australia who is the worlds largest exporter to places like Japan. The flow on effect is the mines close and we end up with all these hairy men moving to the the civilized places and running around with torches stuck to their heads, stealing all the women that are impressed by their huge severance packages. And that means that those of us that stuck it out in the cities, working hard and constantly having to make hard decisions like which coffee shop to go to miss out.
    So it’s about the chicks


  9. I welcome the insight into the socio-sexual importance of aluminum production. But let me tell you, any woman who is impressed with a huge severance package is not for me – and I point that out in a non- self deprecating way.


  10. Fact is, readership is down…way down. My local just this day trimmed 2-1/2″ from it’s width, and doubled it’s type kerning. Streamlining is the term they used. Of course this makes it appear that there is more there than there actually is. By the time they go to print, it’s old news on the internet. Because of it they are reduced to unoriginal watered down pap . Therbs is correct.


  11. I don’t read newspapers. It was too much of a bother putting them in the recycling bin.


  12. So, seeing as this is reproduced with permission by the Sacramento Mirror, have you done an all territories deal with them, or can I reprint this in my local fee-press rag with only your permission?

    Just checking. I can promise to send you a PDF of it in print – that is all.


  13. I retain all rights to my work. All you need to reprint this article is my permission, and you have that, but please also include the “with permission of the Valley Mirror” language in the reprint.

    Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding, I hereby grant you permission to reprint in your local free-press rag anything I post here on the condition that you give me prior notice – and a PDF of it in print.

    Such a deal, eh?


  14. Couldn’t have worded it better myself. Deal!


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