... then you obviously haven't seen the subject line of today's online update of The Age that just arrived in my mailbox:
Nixon, teen had sex: report
Showing my age, I responded initially to this as though it were some sort of long-repressed "news" about the behaviour of Richard Nixon. (Remember Richard Nixon?) Then I thought Gee this looks like the headlines I used to give my first-year Rhetoric students to re-punctuate in order to teach them how vital punctuation is to meaning.
(Nixon: teen had sex report
Nixon teen had sex: report
Nixon? Teen had sex! Report
For those of you not up with these vital matters, the headline refers to one of the AFL's more high-profile serial sleazes and that girl who publicised those photos of Nick Riewoldt's willy, and who cannot, apparently, help herself to stay out of the news.
Osama bin Laden is dead. President Obama's chances of winning the next election are up through the roof. The Tories have just had a similar boost in Britain. (Now that really would be news: 'Millions of Brits look happy!') Victoria has just had its state Budget announced and the federal ditto is just around the corner. Global warming is on the rise, as is resistance to it, and countries in the Middle East are falling over one by one like dominoes. Africa continues to horrify. Greece and Portugal have gone broke. (Just typed 'borke': that too.) Which reminds me: the sacking of subeditors by Fairfax is major news in the sense that it marks a major stage in the decline of, erm, yes, oh right. And so what's The Age leading with? 'Nixon, teen had sex.' Given that subeditors are responsible for, among other things, writing headlines, perhaps in some cases their decline might be ever so slightly less of a bad thing, but not much.
You know what really drives me crispy about this one? (Apart from the decline of, etc etc.) That word 'teen'. Anyone who has ever seen any p*rn with actual words in it knows that 'teen' is right up there with 'panties' (EEWWWW) as far as the lubricious p*rn vocabulary goes, which Goddess knows is not very far but that only makes it worse.
I Do. Not. Care who had sex with whom, in any context, and I never ever want to hear about it ever again ever. Shag your socks off, people, with whomever or whatever you choose: just make sure it involves a nice hot cup of STFU at some point, and I mean for everybody.
And I don't want to hear it about anybody at all, much less Ricky Nixon. Being faced with the image this headline conjures up is not what I require from my broadsheet newspaper. But the whole notion of a 'broadsheet newspaper' is now a thing of the past anyway.
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