Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall From Grace

You know how sometimes you hear some news, and you just can't believe it, but you believe it anyway because you're a dope, and then it turns out the news is a bunch of garbage and Big Media is a racket? Wait, just me, then?

I get how things work in the media--attention-grabbing headlines get clicks, which generates revenue, which let reporters not have to wait so long at the soup kitchen to get their weekly meal. But sometimes I can't but think that the whole institution should be burned to the group and rebuilt, like a brilliant Phoenix in the desert made out of Beetle Baily strips, yard sale personal ads, and last week's Redplum.

Let's take a look at this article (go ahead and click it--journalists need turkeys for Thanksgiving, too). The headline blares "3-Year-Old Boy Falls From Window, Lands on ‘The Last Supper’ Painting, Survives."

So my first thought--and, no doubt, the thought of nearly anyone reading this since the newspaper specifically worded it like this so we would think this--is that a small child fell and landed on the actual, in-the-museum Last Support painting. My first thought was wondering how the kid made out, and then wondering how on earth the museum would leave the painting out in the open like that, and then wondering if it got damaged.

Of course, this isn't the case--the painting in question was a reproduction, the child was at home, the painting was outside the window, and the fall was...well, so far as I can tell, the fall was high and unfortunate but not severe. In any case, this is newsworthy because people are now seeing this as divine intervention--thank goodness the poor mom wasn't a fan of Water Lilies or who knows where we'd be today.

That begs the question--why was the painting outside? Was she throwing it away? No one puts paintings outside the home unless they are in transit from the home. So what sort of message does this send? So many questions that the reporter didn't bother to find out, because dispensing Virign Mary water marks in the floorboards sells copy, and the hard-hitting stuff is left to the dregs over at Grantland and the Huffington Post.

Anyway, the kid is fine, the painting is getting re-hung in the house, and the state of journalism keeps on kicking.

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