1. The Blasé Response
Irritating feedback: “Why is this even news? This is just another case of ____.” (Fill in the
blank with “someone from group X doing stereotypical behavior Y.” Like
“a right-wing nut job saying something crazy” or “a crybaby liberal
seeking attention.”) Looks a little something like this:
AMERICANS PUT FIRST MEN ON MOON
Houston, TX—Just hours ago, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the surface of the moon, becoming the first humans ever to do so.
“Whoooooooo!” Armstrong reportedly said in his first words to Mission Control. Both astronauts scrawled “FIRST” on the lunar surface in a gesture previously agreed upon by the NASA team.
YEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! GO AMERICA!!!!—bigbandluva42
OH MY GOD WE DID IT! Congrats to NASA—IkeLiker
I don’t know why everyone is so surprised. We’ve been pouring money into the space program for years with the sole purpose of putting a man on the moon. Of course, it was going to happen sooner or later. Maybe if we landed someone on the sun it would be a big deal, but I’m not sure why this is such a shocker.—kilroy1945
2. A Compulsion to Be Evenhanded
Why do some people feel the need to make a judgment call on everything they read? You know, the guy who responds to an online article—no matter what the topic—with, “Well, it’s hard to make a call here, and we really don’t have all the facts, but ...,” and then he goes on to find the gray in a black-and-white story. Check out this example:
DR. JONAS SALK INVENTS POLIO VACCINE
Pittsburgh, PA—Polio, pack your bags! Just this week, Dr. Jonas Salk completely and single--handedly eradicated the scourge of polio. In order to commemorate this red-letter date, photographer John Rieser spent a day capturing the life of America’s latest hero.
That’s so amazing. God bless Dr. Salk. I am so glad no child will have to suffer from polio again.—b0bbys0x3r
Well, this is a tough one. On the one hand, polio has killed and paralyzed thousands of people all over the world, so on the surface, it would seem to be the bad guy here. But Jonas Salk has been accused of borrowing from other people’s research without crediting them, which is a pretty big deal in science, and also I don’t think his marriage is doing very well. I can’t really see him as an angel, which I guess means polio is the good guy here. Bring back polio!—ClarkGable22
Only one person can post first, so once someone has spoken, everyone else feels compelled to say something different—otherwise it’s like wearing the same dress as another guest to a party. See how that can lead to some dramatic reactions:
BERLIN WALL FALLS!
I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime! Congratulations to the German people!—THRILL3R
Smashing was too good for that wall! You know how many people it oppressed? That wall should have been ground down to powder, used as kitty litter, and then flushed down the toilet.—girlsjustwannahavefun
Are you kidding? Flushing it down the toilet means it would end up polluting the sewer systems of good, democratic people. The wall should have been pulverized, poured into a capsule, shot into space, and forced to watch endless reruns of Falcon Crest.—TheNeverendingGory
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4. Creatively Filling In the Blanks
Some stories hit the press with few details, leaving readers to fill in the blanks with wild speculation. Take a look at one theoretical sample:
TITANIC SINKS, THOUSANDS FEARED DEAD
(BREAKING NEWS) The RMS Titanic has reportedly sunk in the Atlantic Ocean. Nobody knows for sure what caused the accident yet, but talks are already in the works for a major motion picture.
UPDATE: The boat is still sunk. No word on what caused it. We will keep you updated.
Oh, no, this is horrible. My prayers are with the victims.—TaftFan
Did we catch any German saboteurs at the scene, or did they all get away?—TaftHater
I had a boat sink once, and it turned out to be because I was drunk, and I flipped it over trying to show off. Has there been an investigation into whether the captain was drunk and flipped over the boat? There were many pretty women on the boat. I’m sure this is what happened.—ModelT
5. Knee-Jerk "We Have to Make a Law!"
When things happen that are out of our control, the first words out of our mouths are generally, “There oughta be a law!” Often it’s because we want to prevent another such indiscretion, but sometimes people strike out blindly and wonder how they could have prevented the dastardly deed retroactively. For instance:
NIXON IMPLICATED IN WATERGATE SCANDAL
Washington, DC—It turns out that Richard Nixon may be a crook after all. Recent evidence indicates that the president himself may have been directly involved in the unfolding Watergate scandal.
They’ll never touch him, he’s the president.—DiscoQueen
What if we made a law against having jowls?—bellbottombaby