Tag Archive for 'newspapers'

Shitty things that newspapers and their writers do.

So I sat down this weekend with a copy of the Sunday Times (if you don’t know the right one, you should kill yourself), one of my favorite things to do…but several little things kept annoying me about it. I made this list of things shitty news writers do, although its not limited to writers of the Times. I also cull disdain from that scion of journalistic integrity, “A.M. New York,” since a hobo handed it to me on my way down the subway.

1. Constantly use the same obscure word or phrase multiple times in the same article or page. Yes we are all very proud that you went to Oberlin, now can you please stop using the word “genuflect” over and over again? Once was too much.
2. Refer to blogs or Wikipedia as your source of information. Citing Wikipedia should result in automatic disqualification from the news reporting business. Get off your fat ass and pound some pavement, you lazy shit.

3. Use the word “smarmy” or snarky” without being sarcastic. I can totally picture douchebag ad execs giving each other high-fives and using these words to describe their latest Kia commercial.

4. Talk about Youtube or some other “cutting edge” media outlet to grab my attention and display your ‘with it’-ness, only to snake me into reading your eye-gougingly boring and insufferable piece on…(what else?) feminism.

5. For that matter, write like, act like, look like, be like or be Maureen Dowd.

6. Report the news like everything is an undiscovered mystery. Barcelona was there before you wrote about it.

7. Write about the “struggle” that overweight (read:fat) people have in this country. Go tell it to an Ethopian, tubby.

8. Trick me into reading an advertisement by using the Times font and style. Putting “Advertisment” in a tiny font at the bottom of the page doesn’t make it right, people.

9. Write about the arrival of West Coast peculiarities like Trader Joe’s as if the freaking pope just came to town. Related annoyance: comparing NY eateries to West Coast counterparts like In-n-Out (low end) or French Laundry (high end). What’s next, are we all going to become lazy too?

10. Organize single pages like Real Estate or Automobiles as an entire section, even though it is only one real page flanked by dozens of pages of ads. Who do they think they are fooling? How ’bout you compile all those mini sections in one place and have a separate section called “Classifieds.” You know, the way it used to be before you got all snarky on us?

Things that make me happy

In no particular order:

The way your skin feels after being on the beach for a week.

Taking pictures around New York City with my Digital Camera.

Retelling really old jokes with really old friends.

Monkeys doing human things.

Reading the Sunday Times at the kitchen table.

impromptu Texas No-Limit Hold’em games at my apartment.

Making my own ice-cream on my own little ice cream maker.

Getting a good deal.

Reading PostSecret.

Tinkering with the computer I built myself.

Chewing ice cubes.

Coming up with t-shirt ideas.

Discovering historical parallels.

Things for Suckers: A Multipart Series

There are a lot of things that are out there that are specifically made for Suckers. For example, the Gizmondo. Another example: working hard. I could give a million examples.

And I will, as part of my multipart series on Things For Suckers. I came across the following article at the NYTimes titled: “Someone Has to Pay for TV. But Who? And How?” Dear non-existent reader, I will tell you the answer. 1. Maybe. 2. Not me. 3. I could care less. The article talks about how 70 percent of DVR users skip commercials. Well duh. That is because 99% of all commercials suck and aren’t worth watching. Watching TV in real time with commercials IS FOR SUCKERS. The article is definitely worth a read, and I thought this perspective was actually quite innovative:

James Boyle, a law professor at Duke University, said that broadcasters offer a program knowing that only a fraction of the audience watches the commercials. Advertisers, he added, buy nothing more than “an option on a probability,” and the viewer is no more obligated to watch every commercial than a driver is obligated to read every billboard.

An option on probability. I like that.

In my view, the advertising industry is taking too many cues from the RIAA. The solution is not to battle against the erosion of your business plan using technology. As the RIAA and MPAA have learned painfully, that is never going to work. What advertisers should be doing is looking internally, for a way to make their generic car commercials suck less. Beer commercials. The old Volkswagen commercials. Even the new Burger King commercials. Those are funny. I’ll watch ’em. The latest Mercury Merkur commercial? I’ll pass, thanks. Just try and stop me.

Follow up: Here is an example of someone doing something right. Whoever came up with this at Warner Bros. should be promoted.