Friday, January 30, 2009

Headlines as Stories

I call your attention to the second full headline shown on this clip from CNN's web site, the one in red, and ask: is there really more to this story than is already conveyed in the headline ("Haggard explains his sexual orientation")? As you might divine from the color variance, I did click the link to see if there was any text to the story, but as the little camera icon attests, it's one of those tedious CNN video clips and nothing more, so I backed out without watching.

Not that I've left anything to the imagination. Evidently, Ted Haggard spent some time in a CNN studio explaining his sexual orientation. There's no obvious end to what humans will discuss when it comes to sex, but then again, for most people in most situations, sexual orientation is not something to explain. To feel an urge to explain in this area is to explain quite a lot before a single explanatory word is spoken.

We get it, Ted Haggard. You're gay, or maybe bisexual, but not quite ready to say so. Your imaginary friend in the sky tells you it's icky to be anything but 100% straight. Tell him to fuck off and move on to something important, like helping you break your addiction to meth. Your imaginary friend won't help there either, but at least it's an actual problem.

What truly needs explaining is two headlines down from there: "octuplets mom has six other children." By the use of mom and children, I glean it's referring to a member of our species, but that only begs deeper questions:

  • Why is there an "octuplets mom" who is also a homo sapiens?
  • Why did she excrete eight children when she already had six?
  • Why did she already have six?
  • When do her mawkish appeals for donations begin -- "it's expensive raisin' fahr-teen babies!"?
The latter is especially urgent: I want to be sure I don't accidentally contribute.

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