It's mid-summer. The July doldrums are here. And by doldrums, I don't mean the weather, which has been pretty stellar. No, I'm talking about the news doldrums, the dearth of anything worth reporting in the national media.
Major League Baseball's All-Star Game? Yawn. The "battle" in the U.S. Senate over filibuster rules? Puh-leeze. Syria? Egypt? Not our problem. Yet. Rod Blagojevich? Who has time to learn how to pronounce his name all over again? Not me.
News anchors have all gone on vacation. Even Jon Stewart has checked out for the summer. There's nothing good on television, anyway.
Sure, we had the George Zimmerman trial, but by the time the actual verdict was announced, we'd been so saturated with 24/7 coverage that everyone had already made up their mind. In typical American fashion, the trial was thoroughly politicized: The left painted Trayvon Martin as an innocent teen, stalked and murdered by a bigot who was playing cop; the right portrayed Martin as a pot-addled thug who got what he deserved for daring to wear a hoodie and facing down a guy who was just trying to protect his neighborhood.
As others wiser than me have pointed out, the root problem in this incident is the fact that we allow armed, untrained vigilante "cops" to exist in the first place.
But we'll worry about all that in the fall. For now, it's silly season. A look at the headlines on Huffington Post makes my point nicely: "21 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Hollywood"; "How Big is the Average Penis?"; "Sock Monkey Kama Sutra May Scar You for Life"; "How to Write a Great Yelp Review."
Okay, I have no faith in Hollywood that could be restored; I don't care how big the average penis is — just mine; I'm not reading about the "Sock Monkey Kama Sutra" and you can't make me; and there is no such thing as a "great Yelp review."
Actually, the only great thing that was on the internet this week was the video of the Oakland, California, news anchor dutifully reading the "names" of the pilots who were in the Asiana Airlines crash: Captain Sum Ting Wong, Captain Wi Tu Lo, Captain Ho Lee Fuk, and Captain Bang Ding Ow.
I know, it's inappropriate to laugh at this, but I did — yes, at the names, but also at the utter cluelessness of a news anchor who could read these monikers out loud and not realize she was being pranked.
The woman needs a vacation, obviously.