Cruising through the New York Times today, I did a double-take on the following headline:
As this is a blatantly obvious observation akin to announcing that Chocolate Is Bad For You But People Eat It Anyway, I spent a good minute staring at the link, trying to figure out what I was missing. My instinctive reaction was that, for reasons unknown, the Times and the Onion had somehow contrived to swap stories. Or maybe those fake headline guys had struck again – who knows? Unable to come up with a better theory, I decided to read on.
Frighteningly, it appears the story is genuine. How anyone could remain oblivious as to why teenagers – or, for that matter, adults – use MySpace and Facebook is beyond me, while the idea that the MacArthur Foundation actually put money towards proving the bleeding obvious causes a small but vital part of my cerubellum to bulge in a worrying fashion. Seriously, dudes? Young folk nowadays use of the Internets. They send of the text messags, speak on the cellular phones and jive to the rock’n’ roll musics. Deal with it. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the author, Tamar Lewin, is a modern-day Luddite. Only someone completely out of touch with reality could put quotation marks around the phrase “geeking out” and hope to be taken seriously about either technology or youth culture.)
In other unintentionally-self-mocking news, Germaine Greer, that grumpy old feminist, has lambasted Michelle Obama’s election-victory dress with the kind of angry, colourful prose normally reserved for botched military campaigns. The irony of a feminist icon slagging a powerful, intelligent, prominent woman purely on the basis of her clothes – and, stranger still, complaining that Malia and Sasha’s dresses weren’t “girly” – is disturbingly potent. Especially now that actual fashion designers have called Greer’s own wardrobe into question (lordy!), the whole ludicrous incident is eerily reminiscent of something the Monty Python pepperpots might have done.
“Shh. It’s satire!’
“No it isn’t – this is zany madcap humour!”
Also, there’s a two-faced kitten.
Fourth wall, anyone?