Thursday, February 16, 2017

It isn't April 1st yet, is it?

     On the first April Fool's Day this blog was in existence, I pretended to be in the midst of Kittens in Yarn Week. A comment, I suppose, about the dumbing down of the media.  So it was with a flash of recognition that I got this in my in-box late Wednesday. The heart breaks. And just as newspapers are boldly stepping up in the epic battle to bring down the unfit bully and Russian catspaw, Donald Trump, our own local media conglomerate, tronc (for readers elsewhere: the once respected Tribune Publishing renamed itself "tronc," well, I suppose, because that sounds more like something that would be the source of what regular reader Jakash immediately dubbed a "kitty newslitter.")
     Yes, I know. We're all cooking in the same pot. And newspapers always have had the trivial. The comics weren't exactly The Pentagon Papers either. The Sun-Times prints big posters of sports stars, though I might argue that top athletes are still news figures as opposed to, say, a Pekinese with a bowl of spaghetti dumped over its head. Papers do what they must to survive. Still. Must the Tribune's parent do this? The email went on to inform potential subscribers:

    Which leads me to this question: Do we need the editors of the three of the top newspapers in the country to scour the web for cute animal stories? Isn't that what Facebook is for? And what aren't these editors doing while they're culling "inspiring animal news"? (And inspiring in what way? Just the idea inspires me to want to bite a towel and scream). 
     Sigh. Power to them. I'm sure it'll be very successful. In fact, the question isn't "Do we need newspaper editors to pick our cute kitty stories?" The question is, "Once we're being force-fed our steady stream of 'endearing pet stories and inspiring animal news,' will we need anything else?" Consume too much fluff and you're not hungry for dinner.


  1. I guess some folks will appreciate the weekly dose of cute, but I think cute animal stories should appear spontaneously, not scheduled in advance. Seeing them weekly, same time, same station, kind of dilutes the purpose of what they offer, which is a random, unexpected feel-good moment, a detour from the usual path of what's become our daily dose of depression.


  2. I tried to wean myself from cable news - Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, etc., and other liberal news outlets, but I continue to be drawn to them. This is not original, but it really is like a car crash; you can't look away.

    So far, I can't get through the 6 stages of grief; I'm apparently forever stuck between anger and depression. I guess any respit from, you know...will be appreciated.

  3. I grew up with my step-father making me run to the corner every day for his paper. A tradition I've kept, though the corner newspaper stands are long gone. I still feel the need for the physical paper, and even if i do go online I prefer to have it formatted to appear just as the physical addition.
    Ever since reading Orwell's 1984 as a 13 year old, I fear the ease in which digital information can be changed or eliminated to suit the powerful. I still believe in those ideals of a free press, and our nation's founders idea of the Press being the eyes and ears of a free people, even with its inherently human biases.
    I will sometimes watch FOX or MSNBC to see how the same situation can be framed in such a way that it is seen as either evil incarnate or the second coming, looking for the buzz words and dog-whistle rhetoric that provoke such spirited division among Americans.
    Sorry. I guess I've typed a lot but said nothing.

    Sorry, for the

  4. As long as a newspaper continues to do a good job reporting the news I have no problem if it has a (separate from the news) cute animal newsletter. They are trying to survive in this zero attention span day and age.

  5. I like kittens and puppies fine, but have a fairly low tolerance for manipulative images designed to melt the heart. That's me, but there is published evidence than other hearts are also relatively immune to overly sentimental appeals. One thinks of Dorothy Parker, the original 'nasty woman,' who wrote, after coming across a particularly sugary passage in 'The House on Pooh Corner,'" that point Tonstant Weviewer thwowed up."

    And then there's Oscar Wilde, who once said "One must have a heart of stone to read of the death of little Nell without laughing."

    Tom Evans

    1. The phrase "endearing pet stories and inspiring animal news" socked me right in the gut, fortunately before not after breakfast.



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