Thursday, January 04, 2024

No newts is good newts


I bought my daughter a new iPhone for Christmas and Apple offered me three months of free Apple news. I figured what the hell. I get frustrated all of the time because news stories pop up and I click on them and find out I can't read them because I don't subscribe to Apple news.  So now when a headline pops up that Trump was kicked out of a restaurant 20 years ago because he smelled I can read the entire article.

So I have been binging on sensational news articles and have realized that most of them are click bait written in many cases by my new best friend ChatGPT and designed to expose you to as many pop up ads as possible in a limited time and space. And so far I haven't really felt I am more informed than I was before just reading the headlines.

This made me think of the phrase "No news is good news." That made me think of "No newts is good newts." You get the picture.

Get it?

I toyed briefly with using a headline that read, "Eye of news, toe of frog" (which I personally think is a pretty damned intriguing headline, but maybe not quite as relevant).  So I went with No newts is good newts (which was an actual headline in England at one time when endangered newts were preventing some developers from building condos or something.

But back to the news angle. I have a degree in Journalism (which is about as archaic today as having a degree in alchemy).  So I throw up a little (sometimes a lot) in my mouth when I read a poorly written news (and I use that term loosely) story. I get even more disgusted when I read a headline that promises to reveal something important (like the top ten places Bigfoot likes to vacation) and then buries the information ten paragraphs into the story. 

The most important information is supposed to be in the first paragraph of a story so if you don't read the whole damned thing you get the information you need. But most of the Apple news stories are designed to make you scroll through screen after screen of ads only to find out that Bigfoot doesn't take vacations.

There is something fundamentally wrong with that and I am a highly respected marketing professional who makes a living creating ads.

Okay I may be stretching things to say I'm highly respected, but I've been around for a long time.

Don't get me started about the stories that promise Trump is minutes away from cuddling up with his new cellmate in a Federal prison who thinks he has a real "purty" mouth. They just get my hopes up that he will finally get his just desserts (and I'm not talking rice pudding).  

I imagine I'm fed news by an algorithm that knows I'm liberal. My brother is probably getting headlines that read "Joe Biden is Bill Clinton's love slave." 

The good news is, when I retire I'm going to look into being a freelancer for some of the news outlets that feed into Apple news. I am getting pretty good at using ChatGPT.

Author's note: Since I posted this, there was lots of hype on Apple News about the Golden Globe Awards. One headline I was struck with was, "Everything you need to know about the Golden Globe Awards." My first (and last) thought was "0."

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