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Posts Tagged ‘headlines

“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.”

* Santosh Kalwar

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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By the time it was repealed in 1933, organized crime had become a major feature of American city life, and the American public had adopted the invented-for-the-occasion word “scofflaw.”

The Defender Of The 18th Amendment. From Klansmen: Guardians of Liberty published by the Pillar of Fire Church

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Written by LW

January 17, 2016 at 1:01 am

“When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news”*…

 

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From “Are Selfies Causing the Spread of Head Lice?” to “Brain Implant Lets One Monkey Control Another,” all the news that amuses:  The News Hole.

* Charles Anderson Dana, American journalist, 1819-1897

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As we read all about it, we might send ink-stained birthday greetings to Ben Hecht; he was born on this date in 1894. A novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter (Underworld, Scarface, The Twentieth Century, Spellbound, Notorious, Monkey Business, Mutiny on the Bounty— over 70 in all), Hecht began his career as a newspaper reporter and columnist in Chicago– experience he put to good use when he co-wrote (with fellow reporter Charles MacArthur) the hit play The Front Page.

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Written by LW

February 28, 2014 at 1:01 am

Click bait…

 

From the ever-exquisite xkcd.

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As we linger over listicles, we might send almost-but-not-quite existential birthday greetings to Albert Camus; he was born on this date in 1913.  A Nobel Prize winning author (The Plague, The Stranger, among others), journalist, and philosopher, he was a creator of Absurdism… a resonant but different variety of philosophical thought from Existentialism.  Indeed, Camus firmly rejected the Existentialist label: “I am not an existentialist.  Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked…”

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Written by LW

November 7, 2013 at 1:01 am

“If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: President Can’t Swim…”*

Throughout its first fifty years, The New York Review of Books has asked many questions: What is Art? How Did it Happen? Where Do We Go From Here? Yonder Shakespeare, Who Is He? Tennis Anyone? How Dead is Arnold Schoenberg? Aimez-Vous Rousseau? Is There a Marxist in the House? How Smelly Was the Palladian Villa? Do Fish Have Nostrils?

… and exclaimed, and teased with indefinite antecedents– and just generally delighted.

Click through the highlights of NYRB‘s first half century at “Yuk! Pshaw! Excelsior! Fifty Years of Headlines from The New York Review.”

* Lyndon B. Johnson

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As we tip our hats to the tease, we might spare a thought for François-Anatole Thibault; he died on this date in 1924.  Better known by his pen name, Anatole France, he was the poet, journalist, and novelist considered the ultimate French “man of letters” of his time.  A member of the Académie Française and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1921), France was active in affairs of the state– perhaps most prominently as an ally of Zola’s in the Dreyfus Affair.  But he’s in your correspondent”s Pantheon as the model for narrator Marcel’s literary idol Bergotte in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (or, as your correspondent knew it, Remembrance of Things Past).

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Written by LW

October 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

Not-So-Superman…

 

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 4h

Florida Man Flees After Trying To Break Into Truck; Leaves Crocs At Scene, Pisses Pants | http://buff.ly/17foFnk 

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 20h

Florida Man Broke Into Woman’s Home, Took iPad Photos Of Himself With Her Underwear On His Head | http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2013/jun/25/deputies-burglar-left-love-notes-photos-underwear/ …

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 25 Jun

Police Find Florida Man Naked, Revving Motorbike In Front Yard | http://feedly.com/k/18dEvBR

A Twitter feed of headlines from Sunshine State newspapers recounting the exploits of “the world’s worst superhero”…

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As we whistle Sewanee, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that 18,187 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas saw Evander Holyfield jump, scream, and and move away, bleeding, from his opponent, Mike Tyson in the third round of their fight.  In a move that anticipated the coming craze for zombie stories (and in a posture that presaged vampire movies to come), Tyson had bit Holyfield in the ear…  Tyson was disqualified from the match and suspended from boxing.

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Written by LW

June 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

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