NEWS YOU CAN’T USE
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.
“SCIENTISTS FLABBERGASTED BY SPEEDY BIRDS”
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.
“EXISTING HOME SALES RISE, BUT PRICES DROP”
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.
“BLUE THE HUE OF CREATIVITY? RED FOR DETAIL?”
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.
“WOMEN BETTER THAN MEN AT SPOTTING A CUTE BABY”
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.
“NEW DRUG MAKES EYELASHES THICKER”
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.
“RESEARCHERS SAY ANIMALS PLAN FOR THE FUTURE”
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.
“JAPAN ALUMINUM STOCKPILES JUMP TO HIGHEST IN DECADE”
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.
This entry was posted on February 17, 2009 at 12:46 p02 and is filed under 3D, American Decline, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Family and Friends, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Headline, Headlines, Humor, Joseph Bleckman, Life, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Politics, Pop Culture, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Small Town America, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.