Let me paint a picture for you – I am home from work after a LONG day of paperwork. I work at a doctor’s office, taking and sending medical records wherever they need to be. Yeah, it’s as dull as it sounds. Trust me, the fact that I do such a boring job brings me no joy. But this job pays a wage that I can live on here at my new apartment and has some REALLY sick benefits. We do what we have to do to get by, until we get to where we want to be. It’s a hard racket out there, and I don’t begrudge someone who has to do a boring or dirty job in order to get by. Pay attention to that fact, because it will come up later. Anyway, I am home after a long day of work and am waiting to my lack-luster dinner to finish cooking. I am watching a movie, and there is a knock at my door. This confuses me. After all, my chums are home from work as well. Whoever could this be?
I get to the door and see this really young Native Alaskan fellow. He’s dressed like a typical teenager, which it what he so clearly was. This was either his first or second job, and it showed. This kid wanted to do well. Thus begins his attempt, with all the slick composure of a person with a stand at a market, to sell me on why I really need to subscribe to the Alaska Dispatch News, or ADN, as we call it. It used to be the Anchorage Daily News, but they went under. After all, print news in this country is dead, and where it isn’t dead, it’s dying. We live in an age where reading is too hard for people. You might think that this would distress me, since writing is what I do here is a passion project. I never expected to have an audience, and now that I do, I am surprised and grateful.
This kid tries to pitch me, and I gotta give credit, his pitch is good. He sees that I’m a male, in my 20’s, and not dressed like a hipster, and he makes a pretty fair assumption that I’m a gamer. He tries to sell me that subscribing to the ADN would somehow help me with the procurement of Fallout 4, a game that (to be perfectly honest) I am really no that excited for. I know, I’m awful. I just never got much into Fallout. So fucking sue me.
I played with this kid, because I actually have more than five brain cells to rub together, but in the back of my mind, there was a thought – is the ADN doing so poorly that they have to get what I’m sure are underpaid kids to pimp their publication? They can’t sell people on the merits of what their publication does, instead having to have the modern equivalent of an AMWAY rep to hawk their wares? The more I thought about it, the more sad it became. Then angering. This is how little they think of my intelligence? That I am going to fall for this schtick?! I don’t begrudge the kid that was there. He was slick, and he has bills to pay, like anyone else. I told him as much when I had to close the door. Might have made a few sales at other places. Though, probably not. The Internet has made people into douchebags who watch WAY too many cat videos, and have this creepy and unhealthy obsession with bacon.
He left, not having gotten what he wanted. Going back inside, I was still left feeling a little annoyed. The ADN genuinely believed that this was the marketing strategy to sell their publication. To make people have to suffer through a pitch, from some kid who is kind of adorable. They have to sell their newspaper with the equivalent of used car salesmen. That is just sad.
I have watched the slow circling of the drain of modern media. News has become so vapid and dead. Cable news is nothing but click-bait. Internet news is empty at best, insultingly pandering to an ideology at worst (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, The Drudge Report, The Mary Sue, Kotaku, the list goes on and on…). The worst part is – from what I’ve seen, that isnt’ the ADN. They are at least trying to do news straight. So why the pitch? It boggles the mind. Unfortunately for them, they had their person try to sell to someone with an audience. And now I am making sport of whatever idiocy made them turn to pandering to sell the news. Although, I think that that says the most about all of this.
Even to the people who write the news, it’s a product. Something to sell. That’s the most insulting part of all.
Until next time, a quote,
“Then cable news came in and it wasn’t along before the news became just another form of entertainment. The purpose of entertainment is to transfix eyeballs to the screen and to sell the people attached to them shit they don’t need.” – Mykeru Media