Yesterday, I heard something bizarre from one of my friends. The United States has its own definition of what it terms “NEWS”. Basically, it should be dramatic to the point of taking notice, but not dramatic enough to cripple the economy and make it hobble on crutches for months afterward. Which is why, the mortgage crisis and the internet bubble burst and 9/11 weren’t good. On the other hand, there is news just waiting to be reported. But, news from other countries (especially those with a sea between US and said country) doesn’t count for news at all.
So, the San Francisco Chronicle found it prudent to run a full-blown report on the shocking incident of birds now attacking people in San Francisco. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/30/BA8317TUO2.DTL)
One of my friends just went walking on the street. One bird flew straight at her hair. Said friend ducked in time to avoid being in the trajectory of evidently direction-challenged-and-therefore-attacking flying bird. Out of thin air, a reporter materializes and asks her if she is willing to give an interview. A number of questions arise. How was the reporter there at exactly the same time? Would newspapers actually assign reporters to random street corners waiting for a bird to attack? Or was the bird trained for this in collusion with the reporter? If it is the latter, I would be very sorry for the new lows journalism has taken in this country!
My friend, passed up the opportunity to appear in the local news. I assured her that fame was a fickle friend, and it was best if she wasn’t recognized as the girl the birds attacked. Nevertheless, I stepped out for a few minutes and it looks like I could write a whole newspaper.
“Current generation less tolerant towards children.”
Now, that would sell a few papers surely. Well, I did hear two people say the following while waiting for the walk sign!
“You know, I just can’t stand them. I don’t know how people tolerate kids. “
This means/implies nothing other than the fact that one denizen doesn’t like children. I could also build a study around it, with entirely made up numbers and suddenly my news item gains a shade of credibility.
Here’s another one: “Housing economy easing up” OR “Loans not as difficult anymore.”
What I heard on the street again was this:”You know, it’s like buying a house. A bank puts up 80% of the capital, and you just have to sign”
Evidently, some soul was being persuaded to buy a house, or some soul was telling somebody else how easy it is to buy a house, because suddenly, buying became “just signing”
Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to get into the house, where I have my child waiting for me with love, to escape the birds.