Not to go all doom’n’gloom on you, but I fancy the Yahoo home page as the best guage of the supposed decline of Western Civilization. First of all, the editors go overboardlier than all others in terms of writing provocative headlines. World War III will start when Iran’s mullahs stumble across a gem like this:
“OBAMA SAYS ‘I WILL NUKE MIDDLE EAST’”
. . . And the subject matter of the actual article will be a “slice of life” describing how the president sneaks out for a midnight snack consisting of microwaved couscous.
It’s not all Yahoo’s fault; take this article from the venerable Washington Post concerning a high school senior who has never missed a day of school.
The thing is, there were two kids in my graduating class with extra-super-perfect attendence. Out of a class of around 350, that’s only half of one percent . . . but consider this: if half of one percent of all three hundred million Americans managed to slog through their formative years without faking an illness so as to play video games all day/mask the symptoms of a teen pregnancy, that would make for 1.7 million perfectly insufferable teacher’s pets. Which—sorry, sunshine—seems to make this not so much a news story.
But! Looka the picture. Nice-looking gal, isn’t she?
And though it makes sense for the WaPo to run this story in its local section, nothing else explains why Yahoo picked it up and slapped it on the main page. I’m betting if Ms. Perfecto was an acne-scarred wreck of a young lady, we would never have heard of her. Again we have a case wherein the beautocracy rewards its own. Perhaps she will be granted a reality show.
. . . But maybe I’m being unnecessarily harsh on the girl. Congratulations do seem to be in order. They say half of life is being there. Or maybe showing up on time. I don’t recall precisely because, fuck it, I skipped that day of class.
One might say I’m unfairly ripping apart what is simply an everyday, heartwarming story. But a heart is like revenge, my friends: a dish that is best served cold.