Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's News?

It's difficult to imagine anything left to be said about Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump or the Royal Wedding. These topics have dominated countless news cycles lately, blissfully distracting us from such decided downers as the federal budget, the spate of wars, uprisings and rebellions in the Middle East, and the ongoing crisis in Japan, particularly around the Fukushima (pronounced like "F*&# you, Shima") nuclear (pronounced like "Nuke you, Lar") power plant.

And yet, we are endlessly fascinated with the exploits of rich, useless celebrities (RUCs, pronounced like "Are you, Seas?"). Clearly we find some kind of vicarious pleasure in watching the privileged gallivanting and cavorting, or whatever it is that they do. Moreover, this urge is contagious. We want to be up on whatever others are talking about, whether it be dancing hamsters, girlfriends doing Wii Fit in their underwear, or videos of people seriously injuring themselves.

This is why Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are so eager to show us whatever others are looking at. It's why sites include links to Digg, Reddit and other popularity aggregators. They want to go viral, almost literally infecting the Web-browsing public.

But the more eyeballs these viral faux-information sites attract, the more pressure it puts on legitimate news organizations. As the Boston Globe reported, the PBS series Frontline is now re-tooling to deliver 24/7 news bites, instead of serious investigative journalism. The new "newspaper" is the iPad, and you'll only see the news you choose.

Luckily, we here at The Tech Curmudgeon are committed to upholding the highest journalistic standards. We'll never stoop to the tawdry or sensational. So you don't have to worry about seeing stuff like this ...

or this ...

or especially this ...

Our only criterion for reporting is:  Is it funny? (Or mildly amusing? Or at least not downright dull? Or can we possibly think of something else?)

Thank you for your continued confidence in our integrity. (Please click the Digg, Reddit, etc. links below.)

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