Monthly Archives: January 2012
The problem with society today is people no longer read. And if they do read, it can’t be on boring old paper. No, we are too far advanced for that. It has to be on a backlit screen, have fancy font, and an accompanying pie chart or YouTube video (preferably one that has been Auto-Tuned, for credibility obviously). Also, page turning is so passé – a scroll bar saves you that extra second of effort it takes to turn a piece of paper. Perhaps we are on the verge of Steve Jobs’ vision for the world: a society totally void of paper cuts.
But as advanced as we are at presenting information, we sure don’t seem advanced enough to be bothered to read it. Journalists have recognized this for years as they usually try to put who, what, when, where, how, and why in the first sentence of every article; they use the inverted pyramid method with the most important information at the top and less important stuff at the end. So you end up with an opening sentence like this:
On January 26th, 2012, Colonel Mustard bashed the brains and alliteration out of Professor Plum with the lead pipe in the library because Mustard discovered that Ms. Scarlet was having an affair with Plum, although Ms. Scarlet has been rumored to have be seen with Ms. Peacock at a recent support gay marriage rally held last week, but Mr. Green is also under suspicion, as he recently tweeted nasty remarks about Ms. Scarlet but now is claiming these remarks were aimed at Mrs. White who claims when cleaning his room she discovered a lead pipe under his pillow, yet there is no conclusive proof that the mysterious son of a bitch Mr. Body isn’t behind it all.
The rest of the article would go on to say there is no evidence yet, authorities are still speculative, have a quote or two of someone saying there is no evidence yet, an expert saying it’s all speculative at this point, and then some background information on the parties involved, most of which seem to have been copied and pasted from a highly-esteemed source, like Wikipedia or People Magazine.
But I guess what I want to know is if there isn’t all that much news in an article, why make it so long. Why not leave it with the longest sentence in the world that tells us everything? I mean, why waste the journalists’ time writing all that extra fluff most people won’t read or that the editor will brutally chop off like a small child ripping off the crust of the bread. Because, really, who likes the crust anyway? Or if it’s that trivial, why make us read it at all? Do we really care who any of these people are? How does it impact our lives? Does it change what color of socks I might wear today?
So if any of you have made it this far in the article, congratulations. I already made my point in the first paragraph, first sentence actually, about people not reading, but thanks for sticking through and seeing if maybe I said anything insightful later on and for proving me wrong. You are the people who will change the world (or at least probably win trivia contests).