“You are where your brain is but not where a front-page headline is”*…
Headlines in newspapers, teasers for TV new stories “at 11”– from it’s birth, the press has promoted its wares with précis that pique a peruser’s interest. The advent of online journalism has only amplified that phenomenon… and to amusing effect.
Jeva Lange illustrates in “A field guide to identifying what website that headline came from.”
As we click on the bait, we might recall that it was on this date in 1920 that the 18th Amendment took effect, and the U.S. became dry. Under 100 years earlier, American’s had been drinking an average of (the equivalent of) 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week– three times the average these days. A sin tax, levied at the end of the Civil War, moderated consumption a bit– but not enough to satisfy the coalition of women and evangelicals behind the passage and ratification of “The Noble Experiment”– the national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol that was better known as “Prohibition”– was ratified. Prohibitionists had been after a ban for decades before the 18th Amendment went through. But until the institution of an income tax (in 1913), the federal government depended for the majority of its income on alcohol taxes… so was indisposed to let Prohibition happen.
By the time it was repealed in 1933, organized crime had become a major feature of American city life, and the American public had adopted the invented-for-the-occasion word “scofflaw.”