Posted by: JDM..... | September 26, 2015

You’re doing it wrong….

but may be too stupid to know it…..

Morning coffee at the kitchen table today included a brief mention of Idiot Journalism, the phenomenon generally found only on line and, rather consistently, mostly on certain websites.

We’ve all seen it. Somebody sits around in his/her pajamas Googling random verbs and nouns, and after a few minutes puts together an “article” feigning expertise regarding the chosen topic. They’re easy to spot: the headline throws out a number and a subject, followed by an assertion that whatever follows is about something the reader didn’t know, didn’t know about, or has been doing wrong.

I once tried to put together a blog about Idiot Journalism, but the list of topics I had collected to build upon was so boring I deleted the document and went downstairs to make a sandwich instead. The title was going to be “Twenty Three Things I Really Don’t Give a Crap About,” which was kind of catchy, but the “Things” themselves were about as interesting as nose hair.

  • Why do people write this garbage?

  • Why do the websites buy and post them?

  • Do people actually READ them?

  • and, of course, Why?

Furthermore, if the topic of inane topics is so inane, why write anything now?

When I logged on this morning, (I’ve been too lazy to migrate from the default MSN so far) I found myself trying to make sense of:

Eight ways you’re drinking water wrong

I refused to read it, just as I bypass just about all of its kin. I always have a blunt question at such intersections.

1- According to whom?

I didn’t even think that question this time. It was such a stupid premise, I was reminded first of those silly initiation tasks one encounters as an adolescent, such as “write 500 words about the sex life of a ping pong ball”. I mean, is this for REAL? I’m almost 72 years old, so I’d say even if I’ve been slurping out of the storm gutters all this time, it has been the “correct” method. End of story.

I was also reminded of my former old friend, “Junior“, some 35 or 40 years ago. He was a car salesman down at the local dealership. Junior was a classic, and pure gold for someone like me who sees the world as one big cartoon. He had been a “horse trader” on the harness racing circuit for about a half century before switching to used Fords, and he could pile it higher and deeper than any man I ever met. When a customer walked through the door and it was Junior’s “up”, within the first ten words exchanged, he knew the person’s resume and pedigree and had them convinced (a) he had dated their sister back in the forties, (b) had dated their aunt back in the forties, (c) had sat next to their aunt in sixth grade back in the forties, or (d) he was their aunt. Junior wore a pork pie hat and plaid slacks and his teeth rattled around in his mouth when he talked, which he always did at a pretty good clip while constantly touching your arm or fiddling with something on your shoulder. Junior would have made a good pickpocket. He could sell a car to some poor fool that just walked in to use the bathroom.

One day, Junior and I were talking about all of the new regulations coming out of Washington, and he, of course, didn’t think much of them. In particular, he was guffawing at the regulations I had run into when I built my outhouse and someone from the town had come out to see what I was up to. That was back during what I call my “Grizzly Adams” phase when I tried the “back to the land” shtick that was such a hot deal back then. I use the term “town” loosely, my being one of maybe 600 residents, but one of the others with a title and clip board wanted to make sure I was following the rules as I built a small cabin and a “facility” on my 11 acres of woods.

Junior had laughed when I told him about it.

“Why, I’m north of 70 and the youngest of 8….all still alive and kickin’. Grew up on the farm (pronounced “faaahm”)…and the well was right next to the hosshit pile out back o’ the barn (pronounced “baaahn”) , and we all drank of it…”

So, I had to roll my eyes when I saw that headline, and then I started a new list. It probably won’t be long before some hotshot writes the next exemplar of Idiot Journalism and I want to see what follows that.

I guess I have to admit, one of the 13 things I didn’t know just happens to be how the heck does one top Eight ways you’re drinking water wrong…?

 

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