Here’s why I don’t do more Virtual Front Pages now

Actually, I almost forgot: I'm kind of interested in THIS. Maybe I'll post about it later.

Actually, I almost forgot: I’m kind of interested in THIS. Maybe I’ll post about it later.

… or Open Threads, for that matter.

I tried to do one yesterday, but I just could not bring myself to be interested in anything that was in the news.

So instead, here’s a brief list of the kinds of stories I’m NOT interested in right now, so maybe you’ll understand:

  1. The latest idiocy from Trump — You know — not wearing a mask, firing yet another inspector general, pushing through an embarrassingly unfit nominee to head up U.S. intelligence, “Obamagate,” insulting various women’s appearance on Twitter. It gets tiresome.
  2. Joe Biden’s running mate choice — In particular, all the opinion pieces saying he’s GOT TO pick some lefty, or pretty much anyone except Amy Klobuchar. When the truth is, Klobuchar is the one truly suitable candidate whose name is being mentioned. That’s been the case for a long time now. I just want to get to the election, and get a new president. The prelims are boring me.
  3. Features on how to cope with the stress of quarantine — Because, as I’ve explained, I have trouble identifying with all that because I find this state of affairs to be just fine — personally. I feel terrible about people who are truly suffering — those who have the disease, and the loved ones of those who’ve died, the people who have lost jobs that aren’t coming back, and the people of Hong Kong who are seeing their hopes of freedom dim. But please, enough about how tedious this is and how we can find creative ways to distract ourselves. Oh, I’ve also had enough reporting on the idiots who are resuming gathering in crowds as though this were over.

You get the idea. There’s a sameness out there that is stultifying. And I just haven’t been inclined to post about it. Which is why you get posts like the long one obsessing about a small news item from 1911. I just find those things more interesting. Sorry.

Oh, wait: Just remembered that I’m kind of interested in the subject reflected in the picture I just put at the top of the post. Maybe I’ll post about that later. If it happens

11 thoughts on “Here’s why I don’t do more Virtual Front Pages now

  1. Brad Warthen Post author


    Did anyone click on that link that I used to illustrate the “idiots who are resuming gathering in crowds as though this were over” part? If you did, you saw the above image.

    I have no idea where this was, because (and I hate stuff like this, which make it hard to get specific info) it’s an image that you click on and it opens a video — mostly lame video shot by amateurs holding their phones the wrong way (vertically) — and I didn’t see this particular image during the video.

    But my question is this: Who would ever want to go to a place like that under ANY circumstances at ANY time? And why? I just can’t begin to imagine it. On the healthiest day of my life, far before the pandemic, if I found myself walking toward a crowd like that I would turn and run the other way.

    I truly don’t get it.


  2. bud

    What I find interesting is how so many stories that were once considered important are now forgotten. For instance, what is going on in the middle east? Remember when everyone was so outraged when Trump removed American troops from Syria? Or how about China building all those islands? Or Ukraine’s battle with the Russians? Even Iran and North Korea seem to be forgotten. Maybe all this stuff really never was all that urgent after all.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Ah, you’ve touched on one of those chronic problems with America — our tendency to completely ignore the rest of the world, given any excuse whatsoever (or none at all).

      And of course, American news media play to that. Readers/viewers aren’t interested, so you see FAR less reporting on the rest of the world than you do in the press of other English-speaking countries. Even with our own backyard, such as Latin America, you’ll find much more in British media than you will anywhere in this country outside of The Miami Herald (and maybe not even there — I haven’t had the chance to read the Herald in awhile).

      Of course, this makes it easier for American isolationists to justify not caring about the rest of the world — because it’s not on their radar screens, or anyone else’s.

      Right now, the only really prominent reporting you see from other countries is the stuff comparing how they’re doing with coronavirus to how we’re doing. And those countries are pretty distracted themselves. Although, of course, once their crisis subsided the Chinese immediately turned to pursuing strategic goals, such as destroying freedom in Hong Kong (if you look, you’ll still see something daily about that) or hounding the U.S. Navy out of the western Pacific.

      But all those things are as important as ever. We’re just ignoring them even more than usual right now….

  3. Brad Warthen Post author


    I was about to post that I’ve lost so much interest in current news that I’ve been doing really badly on the Slate News Quiz in recent weeks, but this being Friday I thought I’d go ahead and take it first, and did fairly well.

    So… never mind. I’ll probably suck at it NEXT week, though…


    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, full disclosure. I technically cheated on that one.

      On the third question, I knew exactly what the correct answer was, and was picturing the correct person in my head, and then, in a hurry, clicked on the wrong box. Which ticked me off enough that I started over.

      So count off for that. I tried to make up for it by slowing myself down on the first two questions to make sure I didn’t gain from doing them faster, but it was still cheating.

      I feel slightly better that on two other questions I immediately thought of the right answer but then talked myself out of them. Which felt like I was cancelling my do-over. Those were the only other two I missed.

      But my score is still not legit…

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      By the way, on my redo of the test about an hour later — something I’ve been doing occasionally to watch myself for dementia or whatever, to test my learning capacity — I got them all right, for a score of 575.

      In about 20 minutes I have to go to the hospital to get a CTA scan of my head and neck. Something the neurologist ordered.

      But I just ran my own test, and my brain seems to have been working…


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