There are some things that in the grand scheme of life don’t matter at all but still annoy me.
One is the increasing use of overwrought headlines for news stories that promise way more than they deliver. As one might expect, I read a lot of progressive websites and am sick of overwrought and exaggerated headlines that say that this or that conservative on some program was ‘totally destroyed’ or ‘eviscerated’ or ‘went down in flames’ or ‘had a meltdown’ or something similarly dramatic. The articles never match the hype and all that usually happened is that the allegedly destroyed person simply got into a shouting match with other guests or the hosts, hardly a novelty on talk shows these days. I understand the need to generate clicks and traffic in order to generate revenue but in my case the result has been the opposite of what is intended. I actually avoid clicking on stories that have such headlines.
I also watch a lot of films on DVDs and they often have many trailers. I actually enjoy trailers but what I have noticed is that nowadays they do not give the name of the film until the very end. This annoys me because I can usually tell within a few seconds of the trailer beginning that I do not like the film and would like to skip the rest of the trailer. But I also want to know the name of the film so as to be sure to avoid it and to get that information I have to watch the entire thing. That really bugs me. I could of course skip to the end and then go back a bit but that too is a nuisance.
Another thing about trailers is at the end they sometimes say things like “Coming soon’ or ‘Coming in November’ without specifying the damn year! Since this is on a DVD, it could be any year.
Every few years someone makes a movie that I find more than just vaguely interesting. Most of what I watch (mainly to please my partner) is old favourites, mostly theatre. On my DVD player remote control is a button to fast forward to the next scene, it gets used a lot to skip trailers of movies I have no intention of watching.
I, too, am repulsed by the hyperbolization of headlines. The more “interesting” the article title, the less likely I am to click. I wonder if this will lead to a subculture of headline-writers who intentionally write the most dull-sounding titles they can think of in order to attract readers.
As a researcher, most of my reading is scientific articles. The expectation in scientific articles is that the title will be a succinct but precise description of the article’s conclusion. It would be of great benefit to society as a whole if this practice were more widely adopted, but these days anything more than six or seven words is considered too long for a title, so there’s not much chance of that happening.
The flip side of “it’s popular, therefore it’s good” is “why should I care what the uneducated masses like?”
Pierce R. Butler says
Ftr: among progressive news sites, I find rawstory.com the worst for sensationalism.
I’d give it up entirely, except that (a) they update their page most frequently and (b) a minority of their stories are worthwhile.
commondreams.org & thinkprogress.org seem to provide the least hype, but conversely take longer to catch up with new events.
Mark Dowd says
I can top you on the trailer year thing. I just bought Despicable Me 1 and 2 on Blu-ray and one of them has an ad for the Sochi fucking Olympics.
Really? What genius had this idea?
In the olden days, when I was alive, we used to have something called “media”. Films weren’t just streamed directly to a device in your pocket, you had to actually get someone to bring a thing to your house, and put the thing in a device to “play” it. By definition, that thing had undergone a process you kids won’t remember, something called “manufacturing” (ask a Chinese person), on a particular date in the perhaps-not-that-recent past. So sometimes the content wasn’t immediate to that particular day.
I know, it’s amazing we coped. Blah blah blah polio blah blah cholera blah blah blah get off my damn lawn.