I wish Britney Spears’ big, bald head would get out of my life.
It seems to pop up everywhere: Web pages, check-out lines, newspapers (like this one). It rises, like the Great Pumpkin, anytime news anchors lack for something to say. For a week now, I’ve been playing remote control whacka-mole with her stubbly noggin across the cable grid. Enough already. Let the little girl dry out.
This is Osmosis News — stories you hear about, despite your best efforts not to. (See “Bennifer.”) News used to be a pasty anchorman waiting patiently until 6 p.m. with his details of the Suez Crisis. Now it’s a round-the-clock, podcasting ninny that follows you into the men’s room, shrieking about Anna Nicole Smith.
Yes, many of us had no trouble ogling these women in happier times. But we never called it “news,” and we shy away from it now. Guys I know have little appetite for wading through the minutiae of human misery. (It’s too much like work.) But these ladies’ misfortunes are news to a lot of people. The vast array of media sources allows each of us to define “news” however we want. (Which is why we can weep for “American Idol” contestants while our neighbors dig bomb shelters.)
But if news sources want to keep the male demographic, they need to dial back the hookup/breakup and meltdown beats and give guys the kind of news they want. Which is:
Sports: In a guy-centric universe, TV’s news/weather/ sports format would be scrapped for sports/news/other sports. Why? Clarity. In sports, the combatants are clearly labeled, and you get a score at the end.
Controlled demolition footage: Any guy who doesn’t stop for building demolition needs a chromosome swab. Especially if the building has smokestacks. I can’t explain why. It’s better not to know. We’re going through a major home renovation right now. And, for some reason, controlled demolition footage makes
me cry like “Field of Dreams.”
High-speed chases: They captivate men two ways: 1) It’s someone in trouble who isn’t you, and 2) People in highspeed flight make great time. We don’t watch for accidents. In fact, we root for that sublime moment when, with its tires shredded and engine smoking, the car pulls over and the driver tries to outrun the 90 squad cars following him. Fly, you magnificent moron! Oh, that’s another thing we like:
Morons: The shirtless drunk guy with a lame story on “Cops”? The stick-up guy who can’t disable the closed-circuit camera? The hunter who gets his butt kicked by an elk on “When Animals Attack”? Watching these men builds our confidence in a way we haven’t felt since Shemp died. Keep your Britney footage — let’s see more of them!