The old world as we knew it has officially ended.
Today’s is one of safe spaces, trigger warnings, fake news, false outrage and screaming from the rooftops to get heard so people can respond to your takes and create a story.
Social media has made so many things possible. It’s given a voice to the voiceless. It’s also given a voice to the clueless. Think about how many stories you see now where “fill in the blank says T.O. is not a Hall of Famer.” Or “Charles Barkley said this about (fill in the blank).” Then other people respond and a “debate” ensues.
We have become a world of 1) Create a take. 2) Someone responds to that take. 3) The world spends a day debating that take and then we move on to the next one. Roughly 90 percent of sports, political and entertainment news out there is totally manufactured crap.
As a society we have grown tired of thinking for ourselves. Instead we want to create false anger and controversy as a distraction from actually focusing on real topics. What matters now is being “outraged.” Or being “edgy.” In essence, acting and lying.
It’s too late to fix it. We are a twitter society, and no one wants to dig deeper than 140 characters, because nobody’s got time for that.
Instead, this is what is considered news these days: Monster Energy has taken over for Sprint as NASCAR’s sponsor. (Disclaimer: I am not about to bash NASCAR. At one time I was a big fan and have no issues with the people who like it. This is about another topic altogether).
Monster introduced its Monster girls. And Twitter went into full outrage mode. Apparently the Sprint girls dressed like drivers. Fine. New sponsor, new wardrobe. The Twitter response was absolutely silly. Terms like “hookers” were thrown out. Then some writer pulls a bunch of the dumb tweets and makes a story out of it.
For the record, these are the outfits that spurred the “outrage:”
If you really think this is what a hooker looks like, you need to get your head out of your Nun’s habit. How is this even a thing? These outfits barely reveal anything. And yet a bunch of yahoos go on Twitter in an outrage and it becomes a story?
There are probably 100 examples a day now. This is the weakest one I have seen in a long time. Forcing news and describing it as “starting a narrative” is our official way of life. It’s the only way many web sites, talk shows and TV shows survive. Judging an instant Twitter reaction, pulling a few dumb tweets and making a story out of it is not irresponsible. It’s just plain lazy.
But it also gets the desired response. You are reading about it here, right? So they succeeded, even if we are trying to make a broader point. And that’s the problem. This kind of stuff sells.
And we all buy in.
Lamont Mann did a nice piece over the weekend on Fake News. But the more salient question is what represents real news? The Sweden attacks?
That is what we have lost. What is real news?
That, detective Spooner, is the right question. (Gratuitous I, Robot reference).
And that is the one we should be asking.
What, no Rockets? Larry Brown Sports listed five NBA teams that desperately need to make a deal before the deadline. Somehow the Rockets missed out on making the list. Still, hard to argue with this group.
Performance fart: This is a truly disgusting story about a duo doing “performance art,” which is code for “let’s do something stupid and try to call it art and get a bunch of attention for it.” And again we buy in.
Lethal Weapon reboot: Think about it; Riggs as a woman with Murtaugh, and they have an affair, because Murtaugh’s wife rats him out and they both get fired. But hey, those sexts were classic.
Tuesday picks: Here are the selections for today’s Sam Houston Race Park card:
— Queensryche, Revolution Calling from the iconic Operation Mindcrime
(Pretty sure I have used this one before, but to quote Jules from Pulp Fiction, it “kind of fits the situation.”
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