The morning papers.

One advantage of this year away from work has been the luxury to read newspapers the way regular people read newspapers. Freed from the backstory on things like design, layout, headline and the like, I find it thrilling to open a newspaper — or not open it, in the case of the AA News, which I should really save for 2 a.m. fits of insomnia, since it resembles a Soviet experiment in non-pharmaceutical sleep aids — and judge it as harshly as any other reader out there.

Anyway, today I click onto the Journal Gazette home page. Headline on the lead story: 8 injured so far this year; aficionados stress safety tips and training. The lead: He didn’t see the pier. And! Just like that! I know I don’t have to read another word. The pamphlet-type nature of the story, the faux-dramatic lead, and I can tell you everything that will follow:

This is a story about snowmobiling. “Pier” is northeast Indiana lake-speak for docks, and the lakes are well-known playgrounds for high-octane buttheads who love to overrun their headlights, smash through soft ice and otherwise crack themselves up. While I have no particular objection to snowmobiles, I have precisely zero interest in feeling sorry for them over my Sunday coffee.

Judge for yourself. Did I get it wrong?

Posted at 8:47 am in Uncategorized |
 

4 responses to “The morning papers.”

  1. Vince said on February 8, 2004 at 9:57 am

    Whoa Nelllie! You’re poopooing a life threatening danger! Don’t you realize that people need to be protected from themselves? And the media have a vital obligation to portray all morons as victims.

    This is fine timing for this piece too. It’s February. That’s TV Sweeps time. Just wait for one of the Ft. Wayne stations to jump on this with a highly promoted “Special Investigation!” I can hear the voice-of-the-devil announcer now….

    “Harmless winter fun or death on tracks? A story that could save your life!”

  2. Nance said on February 8, 2004 at 11:41 am

    >And the media have a vital obligation to portray all morons as victims.

    I plant the watershed moment at whenever it was that coverage of a solar eclipse started being more about the “protect your eyes! Danger! Blindness!” than it was about the astronomical phenomenon itself.

    However, after watching the chase-perverts-down-the-street story on the Detroit NBC affiliate the other day, I’d welcome a little how-to-ride-a-snowmobile story, you know?

  3. ashley said on February 8, 2004 at 3:03 pm

    Thinning the herd, I say. I think that’s how we ought to portray it.

    Too bad he didn’t crush his scrot’, so we could nominate him for the Darwin awards.

  4. Michael G said on February 8, 2004 at 8:14 pm

    I particularly liked the part where the “victim” advises people “to remove their pier systems and boat lifts at the end of the summer so they don’t turn the lake into an obstacle course.”