‘8 amazing things about breasts’…..REALLY?

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by Kenneth Justice

~ I’m a reader

No REALLY… I read A LOT; aside from whatever book I’m currently reading,  In any given day I also read between 75 to 150 articles. Anything from Middle East News to the latest movie review by Joseph Fineman.

A long time ago I realized that the way an article was titled affected the likelihood of whether or not I would <click> on the article to read it.

We tell our children “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but the reality of the situation is that we rarely live by that saying.

—) We are more likely to pick up a book at the bookstore if the cover picture ‘connects’ with us visually

—) We are more likely to choose or disregard something based on what it looks like

Titles, cover pictures, imagery……these things affect our behavior whether we realize it or not.

With that in mind I couldn’t help but chuckle as I flipped through the Huffington Post this morning, “8 Amazing Things to Know About Breasts” was an article prominently displayed in the side bar with a picture centered in on a woman in a bra.

Is it just me or is it getting to be a tad bit silly when news sources have to appeal to such a low common denominator in order to increase readership?

As a blogger I feel that I walk a tight line. While on the one hand most bloggers want to increase readership….yet on the other hand are we willing to increase readership by appealing to low denominators?

In other words; if writing about silly topics that you don’t care about increases your readership 10 fold…..would you do it?

If most of us would answer “no, I will not sacrifice my dignity just to increase readership” then who are these writers on popular websites and newspapers that are sacrificing their dignity…..what happened to them?

What causes someone to become a member of the paparazzi?

Do people really grow up with the goal of standing outside a restaurant for hours on end hoping to take a photo or ask a 2 second question of some random B-list celebrity as they walk to their car?

Is celebrity news really journalism?

What is journalism?

What happened to journalism?

What happened to investigative journalism?

It blows my mind when I log on to Huff Post or one of my other favorite news sources and come across articles that have been clearly crafted to increase readership and have little to do with anything intelligent.

I suspect that people like me are slowly fading to grey; people who read and want to read articles and books of substance are no longer the norm.

I was at the bookstore over the weekend and saw a book by Jersey Shore figure ‘Snookie” and it pissed me off.

“I should have a bestseller prominently displayed….NOT Snookie!” I thought to myself.

BUT, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people don’t give a s**t about what I have to say.

Maybe the average person would rather hear what Snookie has to say.

Has Snookie ever even read a book before?

A good friend of mine wants to right books about philosophy. Unfortunately, most people now-a-days don’t care about philosophy. Mention Plato, Homer, Hume, or Sarte and people start falling asleep or leave the room.

However, mention the latest celebrity dirt about Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus and all of a sudden people perk up and want to talk.

It is a strange world we are living in….the Western World is changing before our eyes.

We complain about out-of-control governments.

We complain about politicians who want to control people

We complain about stupid leaders who want to wage stupid wars

But who should we really blame?

Perhaps the problem is that ‘we the people’ don’t deserve good leaders. Perhaps a society of people who would rather talk about Lindsay Lohan deserves a bunch of goofball politicians.

Perhaps we are merely getting what we deserve.

Then again…..perhaps I am wrong.

Oh well, thank god for coffee. I think I’ll have another cup as I read the next article, hmmmm, “Taylor Swift Rocks a Retro Swimsuit” looks like an interesting read……..

Kenneth

 



Categories: Culture & Society, Really???

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. Well if it was not for the title I would of not have read this blog entry, and the capitals are similar to breasts, THEY STAND OUT. Anyway breasts are amazing, if a man is working and he sees some cleavage he will work a bit harder, so they are good motivators for one reason

  2. oh, and i think i might check the breast article out, because now i’m curious. balance, i say.

  3. Sex sells, it always has. Also celebrity news and reality shows are cheap and easy to produce. No journalism or fact checking required, just throw out whatever slop comes to your head and away we go.

    Since my blog is non-profit there really isn’t any incentive on my part to increase readership other than I enjoy interacting with others. And being heard. That’s a big plus 🙂

    • Trinity,

      what you have pointed out is the truth of the matter; investigative journalism takes work but “celebrity news and reality shows are cheap and easy to produce”

      News is being driven by whatever is easiest.

  4. And furthermore…breast are amazing in their own right, in my opinion. LOL

  5. Did you read the “Breast” article after it caught your eye? Titles do make a difference… as you say, you know this and as a blogger you use this. We all do (but perhaps we aren’t aiming for the same group of readers of the “Breast” article.) If I use the word “funny” in a title, I get more views – I just need to be sure I then deliver the funny I advertised!

    I also get very annoyed with Snookie-type books. Celebrity platform, grumble grumble…

  6. Nice observations, these things also cause a profound shaking of my head!

  7. This seems like the writer’s equivilent what cute puppy and kitten photos are to photographers. Think, if Snookie had a ghost-written book with pics of her and her cute pets, would anyone else have a chance of selling a book in the next six months?

    • It really annoys me to no-end that reality stars keep getting these stupid book deals and real authors (like myself) are then pushed to the back of the shelf 😦

    • Sentients so similar to my husband, the word guy. He keeps threatening to start writing celeb gunk, which he did once for a magazine, but he said it made him feel dirty. So, he always comes back to his senses. Good luck with all that.
      On my Way…

  8. It isn’t always popular to point out “our” infatuation with pleasure and having it “all” or how shallow that really is, and that is a huge white elephant in the cupboard we never want to come out. I like the way you don’t shy from a sticky subject.

  9. well as a journalist, and i’d like to think i’m a real one, headlines/titles are important to catching someone’s eye. it let’s the reader know if it’s something he or she will connect with, etc. that said… i totally agree… lowering the standards is crazy BUT it’s simply about money. news outlets are struggling to survive in this internet driven world, well hell… even before the internet was as big as it is now. there’s always a need for the news business to be in business and sadly that’s what people are drawn to… just how it is… i don’t approve but what can i do? hopefully the pendulum will swing back and people will become interested in real news again. as for breasts… well… as a person who has a set… let me tell ya that i think they’re a pain in the a$$ lol. they tend to bring the wrong kind of attention, buying bras is a pain and they’re not cheap by any means and they’re usually just in the way. on the flip side… as nicely pointed out in the movie “erin brockovich,” “they’re called boobs, ed.” – what a way of saying that with a nice pair… it’s amazing what can be accomplished. just saying. 🙂

    • Well if you’re attracting the kind of guy you’re look to date then I suspect that would be the right kind of attention 😉

      I think what we can do about journalism and news is to do what I’m slowly trying to do; create discussions that engage with people.

      Most journalism is rather boring if you ask me. One of the things I LOVED reading in the newspaper as a kid was investigative journalism. I was born WAY after Watergate….but the example of Woodward and Bernstein is what I think investigative journalism should be like.

      What annoys me is that too much of the news now-a-days is simply boring. Its either monotonous political articles, celebrity articles, or sports………there is rarely room for anything left after those three topics engulf the entire news cycle.

    • well… if all he does is drool and stare… not the right kind of attention lol im not a piece of meat, but i get your point and that’s probably true.

      as for journalism – it’s true there isn’t the same level of investigative reporting anymore… people don’t care that much anymore or so it seems… at least the ones who do watch don’t care about it so it’s going by the wayside and it is a business… if no one reads/watches it can’t survive. it’s disappointing for sure.

  10. Benjamin Franklin did the same sorts of things to increase his readership, though we may be more egregious about it. Some things never change. Philosophy has never sold well has it? Now political pamphlets, on the other hand…

    • Carroll,

      quite true. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with using clever titles to increase readership, actually I think it demonstrates a certain level of ingenuity. My problem centers in on what you describe as “egregious”; it seems like journalism is at an all time low 😦 .

      As far as philosophy goes; well I would say that in the past people were much more interested in ‘depth’ then they are now.

      Remember, in the 19th century the newspaper used to print Charles Spurgeon’s Sunday sermons in order to critique him. Could you imagine a newspaper doing that now-a-days? The reason they don’t is that there isn’t any market for it; people aren’t interested in reading a critique of a sermon, hell they are barely interested in reading movie and book critiques lately.

    • Very true. I wonder if there are Charles Spurgeon level preachers today? Other than my wife, I mean. I am reminded that in the 4th century in Asia Minor during the Trinitarian controversy interest ran so high that it was the topic of conversation in the barber shops. Or so reported Gregory of Nyssa. I had forgotten the reports of intellectual involvement in the previous centuries. It is also true that the sixties, for all its other faults, encouraged people to read. It was considered cool when a man wrote poetry. Now I am sad and nostalgic, though nothing in the our situation is changed.
      It is one of the few things I am proud of accomplishing as a parent: most of my children love books, even the ones without pictures.

  11. Valid point sir, valid point. I don’t even bother reading the news headlines or watching it often anymore for that very reason. I really don’t care who is dating who, don’t care about scandalous texts/picture mail, don’t care if Angelina Jolie wants to cut off her breasts, don’t care that some youthful musician spit on his fans…and I don’t know anyone who cares about these things either. I used to be very interested in being a journalist, but after watching the quality content get shoved to the wayside I got right out of that game. I may occassionaly post about silly topics on my personal blog, but I don’t write my blog to get readers, I write my blog so I have a documentation of my life to look back on later. When I did write for newspapers I would never have dreamed of pandering to the lowest common denomonator. It is a vicious cylce of slippery slopes. A news outlet puts out a story about something trivial, they lower their standards to try and capture more people. The problem with that tactic is that you may attract more low standard people but over time you just desenitize the rest to what matters and what doesn’t. Take away the articles of substance and people have nothing to compare the fluff to. Eventually if all you provide is fluff then fluff is all anyone will consider news to be because that is the market you have now created. If all you provide is substance then eventually the rest of the world will re-define what news is and be able to see that the lives of overly tan drunk people isn’t worth their time.

  12. This is a subject that can only be presented on unstable platforms. I’ve done a News of the Day Game series of posts, taking Yahoo News top hits and connecting them to make absurd tags into more absurd stories. I’ve also done a couple of book reviews on these celeb books, treating them satirically as serious literature. The problem for me has always been the people reading my diss on pop culture’s fascination with crap and the “WoW!” factor is…many – if not most – of the people reading are the same ones who promote the drivel. And, people don’t like to be outed. I think it’s one of the reasons I always check for your posts, even when I’m away from the videographic world for a while, trying to re-connect with that old fashioned world of ideas that actually have relevance to my life. Great post on a pitiful subject…hope you can bring the convert out in a few readers.
    Later…

  13. I’m quite positive that like a lot of young people today, Snooki may have read a couple of books in her time, enough to make her have a vague ambition to write one some day. Unlike a lot of young people, she was able to afford the cost of having someone do it for her and still make money and take all the credit. People like Snooki should remind everyone not to begrudge writers like EL James. Sure, the lady is not writing the best prose ever here, but at least she went through the trouble to come up with her own idea and write it down herself. People like Snooki are too busy being Snooki to even be Snooki. If that makes any sense.

  14. Maybe their standards are not dropping in order to get more readers, but they are already low and think that they write genious things.

  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Loved the read! =)

  16. So what was amazing about those breasts???
    I have to agree, we are getting too shallow and interested in the silly yet still want to complain how bad things are. Go figure.

  17. I feel bad that I felt the need to click on your link and read the article 😉 sorry!!!!!!!

  18. For what it’s worth, I’d much rather read a book by you than by Snookie.

  19. I posted a blog in my Policeman’s Lot series and it was a bout getting kicked in the testicles. I called it the tale of the tortured testicles and it still draws readers. I don’t know if torture or testicles is the attraction. The same with breasts I imagine, you see the magic word and it conjures images up in your mind, (it does in mine) then there’s this little voice that says to have a look. Who knows it may contain some (pardon the pun) titbit of information lost to previous generations. The hijinks of those who think the world revolves around their antics leave me cold, famous for being famous isn’t interesting at all.
    Laurie.

  20. Titles are important but so is content. I feel journalism has become a breeding ground for scaremongering and prejudice. It’s a type of conditioning of the population. We all read the same crap every morning. We all think and talk about this crap at work. And we all go home reading the next crap that you get from the free paper they give out outside the train station. We believe what we read and see like sheep. That is why I feel positive journalism is important for all. Stop the hatred and spread the love!!
    (Ps – I do enjoy reading the opinions of independent minded people though, yourself included)

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