The devil is in the headlines
As per the terms of my employment, I am required to read the news for a large part of my weekday mornings. The gods of fate must get a good laugh out of that.
I've always been more of a headlines-only kind of news-o-file. First of all, a good headline lets me know if I want to spend time reading an article. If I see this headline: "Dow drops amid rate hike rumors," I know right away to avoid this article. It sounds too fact-filled and depressing. I see: "Woman tasers self searching purse for keys," and I'm about that. Nothing like a good tazing story for a hearty laugh.
Yes, I know I'm what's wrong with America these days, but as Popeye would say, "I yam what I yam." Shallow waters.
Besides, all the facts and details in an article spoil the fun of re-interpreting headlines. If a headline reads "High court ruling overturned," I think, "Of course it was overturned, those dudes were high. Their judgment was impaired." It's much more fun than reading the blah-blah-speak about law and legal findings, and quotes from dryly written official findings.
So, today, go ahead and skip the news and join me in a stroll through this week's headlines.
- "Fed up with Washington, wealthy boycott campaign fundraising" (Reuters). This headline should read: "Wealthy participate in 'Occupy Wallet' protests against Washington elite."
- "eBay and Facebook unveil e-commerce partnership" (Reuters). Let's start an unfounded rumor with this sub-heading: "In future, Facebook pages to be sold, only to highest bidder."
- "'Underwear Bomber': I wanted to avenge 'innocent Muslims'" (AP). I don't have an alternate headline. I just wanted to point out that any terrorist going down in history with the moniker "Underwear Bomber" has to feel morally defeated. Maybe we should utilize this humiliation tactic with all bad guys. Jihadist leaders should be called buffoons, clowns or doody-heads, and the War on Terror should be renamed the War on Morons.
- "Apple wins Samsung tablet ban in Australian court" (Reuters). Frankly, I couldn't have come up with a better counter-headline than MSNBC.com's "The Body Odd" medical site: "When an apple allergy suddenly appears."
- "Arson attacks disrupt German rail traffic" (CNN.com). No one has been hurt so I can go ahead and say it: "German war protesters disrupt rail traffic just arson around."
- "Family lost in maze calls 911" (AP). Y'know, I wouldn't change a thing about this headline. I read the story. The punchline? They were found 25 feet from the edge of the maze and could've gotten out faster by calling out "Help!" rather than calling for help. The even bigger irony? The owner of the maze is overwhelmed with glee because he's expecting the negative publicity to boost ticket sales.
- "Teen boys using condoms more often" ("Vitals" on MSNBC.com). Begs for the sub-head "Rise in number of water balloon fights reported in high schools." What? They didn't say what the teens were using the condoms for.
- "Weak economy may be causing baby bust" ("Life Inc." on Today.com). Future headline: "Once overflowing with Baby Boomers, retirement communities sparsely inhabited by Baby Doomers."
- When you read "Bear follows dog into house, attacks couple" (CBSNews.com), "Sharks thriving in golf course lake" (FOXNews.com), "Antelope takes out mountain biker" ("NBCSports" on MSNBC.com), and various headlines relating to the three fatal grizzly bear attacks in Montana in 2011 alone, it's easy to believe that the animal kingdom is out to get the humans. I'm thinking it's actual fact after reading: "Man gets shock after poking dead bear with knife" (AP). The dude was shocked by a high-voltage electrical line hidden under the bear carcass and life-flighted to Salt Lake City. They've evolved from attacking us, to taking over our spaces and now baiting us into potentially lethal traps.
- "Michele Bachmann blasts Herman Cain's 'devil' 9-9-9 plan at Republican debate in New Hampshire" (HuffingtonPost.com). Specifically, Bachmann said, "When you take the 9-9-9 plan and turn it upside down, the devil's in the details." I got nothin' on that. She beat me to the punchline.
(No good news story goes unpunished at http://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)