Posted tagged ‘junk news nation’

Newsprint Past

October 26, 2014

Junk News Speak

Newsprint Past

There were times and places
when what you purchased
came wrapped in old newspaper
folded as neatly around–let’s say–
your nubby mandarins
as a steam-pressed collar buttoned
over an Adam’s apple,
only tied with a string
and covering everything.

At the end of shopping,
you might carry a stacked jam
like so many ironed shirts
tailored for people with trapezoidal
torsos, or if you lived in Great Britain,
fish and chips.

As you unwrapped
your fine print sacks, sitting at a table bare but for
peel curls, chip chips, you could, between whiffs
of orange or vinegar, peruse
an origami of ads, articles,
the snipped obits of those who some time recently
had died
and the whom they were
survived by,
phrases that kept
you company, quiet companions with interesting
while from outside,
came muted cries–
for those were also times and places
of open windows–not of anguish typically,
or not of extreme anguish–the crows of children
over rules, the hawking
of other vendors,
the banter of true bird, the
hum of machines
on the fly,

sweat nestling at the back
of your neck and inner arms, and,
if you were eating fish and chips,
probably also
your upper lip.

And, believe me, I am not in any way touting
those times –I am pretty sure
that while you were sitting there eating, some woman
in the background
was scrubbing pots, and some person of color
mopping stairs, and while there’s nothing wrong
with pots or stairs, scrubbing  and mopping,
they are not so great
as ultimate options, not to mention the fear stored in
closet shadows,
along with the broom handles, buckets, lye.

I’m just saying that newsprint seems a
helluva lot better to me
than plastic, no matter how
it’s used, and by plastic I don’t just mean
what now wraps all we buy,
but also what we see–that transfixed hair
upon the screen, the fake smiles,
smirks, the scooped pronouncements passing
as some synopsis of
the world’s long day, so much shiny
cheap, thin,
packaging, so much
to throw away.


This isn’t so much a poem as a rant.  I wrote it originally for Mary’s prompt on dVerse Poets to write about news – and am posting it on dVerse’s Open LInk Night

This is an old drawing, but seemed to fit. 


January 26, 2013

Junk News Speak


I try to skip the me-me-media
the talking heads of hair and tedia–
though it can be fun to watch those ‘dos
bob above their soundbite stews.

Still, the fact is there are those who will
shill and shill and shill and shill–
fake some outrage, mime some shock
though careful to keep every lock
of curl and bang and tress in place
while they fecklessly ape chase
of stories they tilt like a table
of pinballs whizzed right through the cable.

Instead I try to read and read,
or watch whole tapes, a whole news feed,
(Oh, sure I fail, sure I miss out–
there’s tons I don’t know much about.)
And maybe what I read ain’t fair,
But at least my news don’t come with hair.


Here’s a kind of silly poem for dVerse Poets Pub, hosted by the wonderful Brian Miller, on the subject of media.  I don’t read as much news as I should to be fully informed.  On the other hand, I do try to avoid TV news (don’t have a working TV), but I do get some news from clips!  And I think print media tends to be a bit more thorough and less narcissistic.  (That’s just my take though, and honestly, I don’t watch TV news so probably shouldn’t speak to it.) 

Junk “News” Nation – Twinkie/French Fry Speak Takes Bat At Kagan

May 16, 2010

Junk News Speak

Over the last few months on this blog, I’ve periodically embarrassed myself with confessions of my escapist fascination with vampire novels (and certain actors who play their starring characters.)  My only excuse has been a combination of stress, a decaying brain, and—I admit it—a wish to get “hits”.

Given my own weaknesses, I very much understand the drive of the news media (a) to sell papers; and (b) to get people to watch, or click on, their programming.

I also understand that legal theorizing, judicial precedent, and the parsing of amici briefs, can be–well, let’s say, boring. (We won’t go all the way to stultifying.)

As a result, I can imagine the glee of cable TV newsrooms when, faced with new Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, they found something other than Roe v Wade to hang a story on.

But, come on!  An old photograph–not of  the judicial nominee drunk and philandering, or speaking at a segregated club, or even wearing a funny hat–but playing softball?!  A game which is supposed to be the all American past-time, but which we now discover (after endless media discussion) is truly a code activity for gayness!

It’s all just so goofy (and sickening)–a dumb and dumber approach to news which relates to relevant fact in about the same way that tweeting relates to exposition.  Snarkiness substitutes for commentary; smirks for analysis; talking heads become chuckle heads as they fall over themselves to say that (a) they are not saying anything; and (b) by the way, did you get it?

In the same way that fast and processed food has taken the place of real food (food stripped of nutrients and hyped instead with artificial color, ultra-fructose sweeteners, and loads and loads of trans fat and salt), we now have fatty, salty, simpering gossip replacing real news, news that takes thought, and provokes thought.

At least, vampire novels don’t pose as anything but entertainment;  at least, the vampires in them openly show their fangs.