Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Speaking of newspapers, in his new book ALPHABETTER JUICE, Roy Blount Jr. has an interesting section on headlines. One of his favorites is "Coconut-Carrying Octopus Found." He calls it "alluring," and he is right. But I saw an AP headline the other day that I found alluring in an opposite way: "Ga. Police: Upset Councilman Spills Food at Diner." It was alluring because it was so boring! By sheer coincidence, as I compose this very "post" I see via his twitter account that Ben Greenman is currently concerned with a "non-story" (AP again!) bearing the headline "Spacewalking Astronaut Gets Something In Eye." Greenman's favorite part seems to be "The spacewalkers noted that the problem with tears in space is that 'they don't fall off of your eye... they kind of stay there.'" But I think MY favorite part is what the astronaut says when he gets something in his eye: "'Oh boy,' Feustel moaned." PS: Blount quotes a scholarly journal as saying that the octopus building a little house out of coconut shells is "the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal." But is that really tool use? Are we to believe then that every bird who makes a nest is "using tools"? I don't think so! I consider it an insult to the mighty crow who with patience and ingenuity fashions a hooked instrument to dig bugs out of a tree. THAT is real tool use, my friends. Let's not throw around "tool use" so casually. PPS: Last night at dinner with Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly I started to talk about crows. "Don't get me started about crows!" I actually exclaimed. And, "Have I mentioned this before?" Everyone replied, "Yes." Said Beth Ann, "And you sent me links about it." So I have become this guy who constantly rambles about crows at social gatherings of every kind, and follows up with helpful e-mails. PPPS: Since I began writing this very long "post," and you really don't want to know how long it takes me, it's too sad, the AP has changed their headline to the disappointingly more specific "Spacewalking Astronaut Gets Stinging Soap In Eye." PPPPS: They also edited out my favorite line, "'Oh boy,' Feustel moaned." That makes me mad! Did NASA contact them and say it reflected badly on the space program? I call it censorship! It really used to be there. It came right after the line (which is still there, for now) "'Sorry, buddy,' Fincke said."