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Drew discovers a new and previously unknown version of the Seasonal Article that you might have never noticed. Also, Fark's favorite Headlines of the Week for 9/20 to 9/26 
Posted by Drew at 2009-09-28 1:46:51 PM (36 comments) | Permalink
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12171 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Sep 2009 at 2:02 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



I just missed one of the more curious seasonal articles of the year. Usually I'm more on top of things but I've been getting some rapid-fire travel in. Heather's pregnancy was a little complicated but I'll spare everyone the details - the short version is it all worked out with no significant complications. Unfortunately that means that I haven't had time to keep up on current Fark events, such as who the latest Florida teacher to be arrested for having sex with a student is, the latest naked guy to rob a bank, etc. Friends will ask me about stories when we're out for beers, but lately I've had to tell them I haven't seen them either.

So last week, I missed one of my favorite Seasonal Article repeats of the entire year. For those unfamiliar with the article type, Seasonal Articles are articles that get repeated every year. Such as the article about how much productivity is lost during the Super Bowl, Hey There'll Be Traffic on Memorial Day/4th of July/Labor Day/Thanksgiving, the annual Where To X-Ray Your Halloween Candy with the debunking of the urban legend about poisoned candy, etc. They're lame and media trots them out every year at the exact same time as if we've never heard of these things before.

Most of the Seasonal Articles rotate around holidays. There are a few that don't though, such as the flu sequence of articles. It goes something like this

- Here's Where to Get Flu Vaccine, Get It or You'll Die
- Oh My God We're Running Out of Flu Vaccine
- Oh My God The Flu Vaccine is for the Wrong Flu Variant
- Oh My God There's a New Strain of Flu That Will Surely Kill Us All
- Celebrity Non-Scientist Claims Flu Vaccine Causes Autism (Paragraph Five: But There's No Evidence)

And so on.

For the most part, MSM knows they're running the same articles at the same times of the year. It's no secret to them. However, around the time I was doing research for my last book, I discovered one that no one realizes is a Seasonal Article. For all I know it could be one hell of a coincidence, but it does appear every year at exactly the same time:

- Saturday Night Live's New Season Sucks, But It Was Good 10 years ago.

I can't figure this one out. For whatever reason, MSM hates SNL's first show of the season. They can't wait to bash it into the ground. Maybe it does really suck, I quit watching SNL years ago because it's easier to just wait until they do one good sketch and then catch it on Youtube/Hulu. But to me the really strange part of this seasonal article is the claim that it was better 10 years ago. Because I first remember seeing this seasonal article when I was back in High School. It said exactly the same thing, SNL is past its prime, it sucks today, it was great 10 years ago. I remember being really disappointed, man I'd missed the great golden age of comedy. 10 years later I was out of college (and therefore reading for fun again, something that stops when you're in college) and came across the same article. This season of SNL is terrible, 10 years ago it was great. Wait a second, 10 years ago they said it was terrible. Obviously it wasn't the same people writing the review, but it was essentially the same article. You could copy and paste the thing, change the names of the cast members and hosts, and voila, done for another year.

I think probably what's going on here is that it's the SNL highlight shows that are hilarious and awesome. Every SNL episode has one or two (or zero) really funny skits that end up on the Best Of reel, and those Best Of shows are what reviewers are talking about when they say that SNL was great 10 years ago. So to fans and non-fans alike, I say don't worry about whether or not this season is any good, the Best Of reel will be great and 10 years from now when several of the stars have gone on to make terrible movies and one or two of them have gone on to make the rare actually funny movie, we'll all think the entire season 10 years ago was pure awesome. But today, it sucks.

Headlines Of The Week for Sun 2009-09-20 to Sat 2009-09-26:

img1.fark.net  Small group of Calvinists fight to stop their church from being closed. Last seen barricaded in the building armed with transmogrifier guns and a stuffed tiger    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  80-ton wave generator works briefly as advertised when it falls into the ocean    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Woman reports own son to police for rolling a joint with a page from a bible. Holy Smokes    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Four punks try to rob 88-year-old WWII vet, accidentally open a very large can of Acute Failure of the Victim Selection Process    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Census worker found hung, with the word "fed" scrawled into his chest. Hey, at least we know he ate before he died    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  At least nine out of 10 Americans have had premarital sex. So that means for every virgin, someone is having a three-way    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Sheriff of Nottingham uses taxpayers' money to visit US. If only there was a folk hero who would stand up for the common man in situations like this    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Dispute over donkey leads to knifing, proving once again that you always have to watch your ass    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Kissimmee considering changing its name to Owitsstingingmee    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  "Vehicle crashes into house, disappears." Pentagon unavailable for comment    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Fake psychologist charged with freud    img.fark.net


Sports:

img1.fark.net  Elementary school kids run through blocking and tackling drills with the Detroit Lions. Advice and encouragement were given, as well as physical fitness pointers. Hopefully the Lions learned something    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  TO admits that he wants to become an actor. He could start by not looking so surprised when a perfectly thrown, sure TD pass goes right through his hands    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Tebow injured and taken to the hospital by ambulance, expected to rise again in three days    img.fark.net


Geek:

img1.fark.net  35 million worldwide living with dementia, posting in Fark Politics tab    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, says the OS has become "bloated and huge". Much like your average Linux user    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Incredibly, Bing has increased Microsoft's search share by a whopping 0.4 percent. Google it if you don't believe me    img.fark.net


Showbiz:

img1.fark.net  Kevin Federline, who earned a shred of fame as the remora to Britney Spears' whale shark, has signed on to VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. And there it is folks, proof that our culture has hit bottom    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  ♫ All the leaves are brown ♫ And the sky is gray ♫ So I'll sleep with my daughter ♫ Every single daaaaaaaaay ♫  

img1.fark.net  Capitalism has failed, says Michael Moore, whose new movie will be available free of charge to all the workers of the world    img.fark.net


Politics:

img1.fark.net  Senator Robert Byrd is in the hospital. Subby hopes he's okkkay    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO, announces run for Governor of California. Expects to lead early, but get sniped five seconds before the polls close    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Ted Kennedy's recently appointed replacement says joining Senate is "sobering" experience. So he's already abandoning the Kennedy legacy    img.fark.net


Music:

img1.fark.net  Jay-Z shows Bobby Brown how it's done; he's beaten Whitney Houston two straight weeks in a row    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock is going on a solo tour. Expect your grandparents to get excited and demand tickets, and then come home upset because they completely misunderstood    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Morrissey recruits fellow vegan and woman Chrissie Hynde to help him with a new album of rarities, B-sides, and live tracks    img.fark.net


Business:

img1.fark.net  Custom Iacocca edition mustangs sells for $90k. DeLorean edition will have extra wide mirrors and a street value of $500k    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  Sara Lee may sell off its line of body care products (i.e. shampoo) in order to focus on its line of body neglect products (i.e. Jimmy Dean sausages)    img.fark.net

img1.fark.net  More and more engaged couples signing pre-nups to protect assets amassed during their single days, like chipped Billy bookcases, mismatched sets of Corningware and complete sets of Star Wars figurines    img.fark.net
· · ·
(view entire blog)


36 Comments   (+0 »)
   
 
2009-09-28 02:04:06 PM  
Holy living f*ck, I had all three in the Music tab.

/and one in Showbiz
 
2009-09-28 02:04:48 PM  
Aw, the Washington/Detroit headline didn't make the cut? Or does it count as next week? this week?
 
2009-09-28 02:05:27 PM  
foo monkey: Aw, the Washington/Detroit headline didn't make the cut? Or does it count as next week? this week?

Next week.
 
2009-09-28 02:07:04 PM  
Reported.. parody thread

...sorry Drew.. couldn't resist :)
 
2009-09-28 02:09:44 PM  
Heather's pregnancy was a little complicated but I'll spare everyone the details

I remember those days. I'd buy half of the menu of both Dairy Queen and Taco Bell and let pregnant Mrs. Henry eat herself into a slumbering state.
I'm surprised our last kid wasn't born wearing a sombrero and covered in sprinkles.
 
2009-09-28 02:10:38 PM  
maybe that will stifle the SNL isn't funny punks.
comedy is hard work.
 
2009-09-28 02:10:54 PM  
Everything was better 10 years ago. Because you were ten years younger and you have forgotten all of the boring days, colds, awkward dates etc., as well as all the crappy SNL skits.
 
2009-09-28 02:14:21 PM  
Must be tough for SNL to always be ten years ahead of the curve.

Or to just suck.
 
2009-09-28 02:15:16 PM  
- Celebrity Non-Scientist Claims Flu Vaccine Causes Autism (Paragraph Five: But There's No Evidence)

i216.photobucket.com
 
2009-09-28 02:18:34 PM  
SNL being done on Thursday nights doesn't help. granted, they "only" have to fill 22 minutes of content, but they're shooting some of their wad for the lame Thursday prime time show and then having to come up with fresh shiat for the "real" show.

i think it has been pretty good for the past 2-3 years. some sketches blow but some have been really good.

and the old show has been TOTALLY mythologized. some of that stuff sucked also. it is just that with SNL, we are watching the full 90 minutes and having to endure the 2 shiatty sketches per show. with the 70s reruns that got lots of replay in the 90s, that was only 1 hour, and the band was always included.

so those shows that most of you learned about the 70's SNL from, that didn't see it in the 70s, those shows cherry picked the good sketches. You had the 2 band songs, the full Weekend Update, and then space for like, 4 sketches. Believe me. There were plenty of shiatty, boring, pointless, going nowhere sketches in the Murray / Chase / Radner heyday. I mean, you don't even see the shiatty Chase/Murray/Radner/belushi sketches, unless you lay out for the complete SNL DVD that was released not long ago.

SNL has always had unfunny sketches. always will.
 
2009-09-28 02:28:02 PM  
"meh" headlines this week, yet my Susan Atkins article didn't make the cut?
 
2009-09-28 02:30:28 PM  
They do the same thing with the Simpsons too, but I suppose that's a year round thing.

Get a thread talking about the Simpsons, you always see the same pattern of comments emerging: the current season sucks, the episodes from 5 years or so ago were kind of okay, any episode more than 10 years old was part of the series Golden Age and is "classic."

Of course, ten years ago, people were biatching that the current season sucked, that only the first five years of the Simpsons was worth anything, etc. Even Matt Greoning quipped about it when he was gearing up Futurama, when some wit asked him if "The Simpsons" would still be on in Futurama's future. He said something like, "A thousand years from now, 'The Simpsons' is still on TV, but fans complain that the first 500 years was much better than the last 500."
 
2009-09-28 02:33:18 PM  
Apparently the Detroit Lions *DID* learn something from running those drills.
 
2009-09-28 02:35:14 PM  
tdyak: Apparently the Detroit Lions *DID* learn something from running those drills.

Came here to say this.
 
2009-09-28 02:36:19 PM  
Can I call Drew out for abbreviating "mainstream media" as "MSM"?
 
2009-09-28 02:36:47 PM  
The English Major: Holy living f*ck, I had all three in the Music tab.

/and one in Showbiz


*HIGH FIVE*
 
2009-09-28 02:37:52 PM  
rickythepenguin: SNL has always had unfunny sketches. always will.

For me (and I'm old enough to have watched the first one live), it suddenly got worse when they forgot that an entire sketch-not just the concept-needed to be funny. It's like there was one person who could come up with a humorous idea, and then it would be left to a bunch of un-funny people to flesh it out. And EVERY SINGLE SKETCH became like that. Now there are maybe 3 or 4 sketches from an entire season that are worth watching, where as there used to be 3 or 4 per episode.

Any more, they may as well televise the initial table readings, because nothing seems to improve past that point.
 
2009-09-28 02:40:54 PM  
mekkab: The English Major: Holy living f*ck, I had all three in the Music tab.

/and one in Showbiz

*HIGH FIVE*


Thanks. Then again, I didn't get quoted in The Examiner.
 
2009-09-28 02:48:40 PM  
Old news is old. Drew fails.
 
2009-09-28 03:02:14 PM  
My favorite seasonal article is the "why the seasons change" article. It was the first one I saw that was literally copy/pasted from the year before. They do it around this time every year (possibly in March/April too...), and it's the exact same. Until I saw it the first time about 4 or 5 years ago, I had no idea that anyone thought the seasons change because of the distance between the earth and the sun, but apparently that's a really common belief (in fact, since then, I've spoken to someone who believed it. But I've also spoken with someone, possibly the same person, who thought the US had 52 states, so... go figure).
 
2009-09-28 03:02:58 PM  
Dhusk: They do the same thing with the Simpsons too, but I suppose that's a year round thing.

Get a thread talking about the Simpsons, you always see the same pattern of comments emerging: the current season sucks, the episodes from 5 years or so ago were kind of okay, any episode more than 10 years old was part of the series Golden Age and is "classic."

Of course, ten years ago, people were biatching that the current season sucked, that only the first five years of the Simpsons was worth anything, etc. Even Matt Greoning quipped about it when he was gearing up Futurama, when some wit asked him if "The Simpsons" would still be on in Futurama's future. He said something like, "A thousand years from now, 'The Simpsons' is still on TV, but fans complain that the first 500 years was much better than the last 500."


That's completely wrong. Not that no one says that, but there's some truth to the idea of a Simpsons Golden Age. Seasons 3-8 were the golden age. 1-2 are "classic," but really aren't nearly as funny. And then from 9 on, they just had fewer and fewer good ideas, and had to flesh it out with more dumb or repetitive or stereotypical stuff. But it doesn't matter if it's season 12 or 16 or 20 or 500, it's still gonna be 3-8 that really shine.
 
2009-09-28 03:12:45 PM  
SNL is using the One Funny Idea they get each week on Thursday night. Even Megan Fox couldn't help liven up that steaming puddle of cat puke they put on Saturday night. The new chick dropping the F-bomb was the only interesting moment of the entire night. And Kenan, buddy, I think you're great but if I never see Jean K. Jean again it'll be too soon.
 
2009-09-28 03:42:34 PM  
I thought you could maybe abbreviate snail in programming naming convention by removing the vowels, then that would be cool. Cooler than a hot dog.
 
2009-09-28 03:51:52 PM  
That geek posting about dementia and the fark politics tab was brilliant.
 
2009-09-28 03:56:24 PM  
SNL was great when you were a kid watching the show. After that, not so much.

The year does not matter. The cast does not matter. Just like a lot of things.
 
2009-09-28 04:17:50 PM  
SNL skits are designed by multidimensional beings who are just trying to see if any humans are paying attention. The experiment will end in a few years, after season 42.
 
2009-09-28 05:12:28 PM  
Drew:

The "Here's Where to Get Flu Vaccine, Get It or You'll Die" doesn't fit your own definition of a seasonal story, because people can get flu vaccines in different places each year, and the information can be useful and relevant to news consumers each fall. It's not something media trots out every year as if we've never heard of these things before. It's good and valuable information that people may want or need.

And I've never seen any articles that say "we're all going to die" from the flu. Most of them express due concern that flu can be a problem, but they usually put it into context and explain that it can be serious to babies and the elderly, but most people will just be miserable for a week.

But making fun of media for exaggerating sure is fun. Who cares if the media doesn't really exaggerate on this topic? I love poking at a straw man. As long as the criticism confirms my longstanding and irrational biases, I'm all for it!
 
2009-09-28 05:19:49 PM  
hmm, I was hoping to see Six Flags over Georgia introduces 23 new water rides on there. I've been chuckling about it for days.
 
2009-09-28 05:29:08 PM  
SNL was good in 1999?
 
2009-09-28 06:04:09 PM  
Drew,

I thought you did mention the SNL thing in your book as a seasonal? I could be wrong, I read it last year. But yeah, the Flu thing is a recent seasonal article and it starts a great little debate between the farkers. I still say it's pointless to get one.
 
2009-09-28 06:06:33 PM  
i second the six flags headline; that even made my wife laugh and that's pretty rare with her.
 
2009-09-28 06:47:07 PM  
Kyosuke: For me (and I'm old enough to have watched the first one live), it suddenly got worse when they forgot that an entire sketch-not just the concept-needed to be funny.

I came to the conclusion Saturday that the problem comes from a group of improv/comedy club writers coming up with a funny concept, which is then stretched for needed time. Thus it starts out reasonably funny but then goes on and on and on until you're actually begging for a commercial just to make it stop.
 
2009-09-28 08:49:54 PM  
Dobbler: Drew:

The "Here's Where to Get Flu Vaccine, Get It or You'll Die" doesn't fit your own definition of a seasonal story, because people can get flu vaccines in different places each year, and the information can be useful and relevant to news consumers each fall. It's not something media trots out every year as if we've never heard of these things before. It's good and valuable information that people may want or need.

And I've never seen any articles that say "we're all going to die" from the flu. Most of them express due concern that flu can be a problem, but they usually put it into context and explain that it can be serious to babies and the elderly, but most people will just be miserable for a week.

But making fun of media for exaggerating sure is fun. Who cares if the media doesn't really exaggerate on this topic? I love poking at a straw man. As long as the criticism confirms my longstanding and irrational biases, I'm all for it!


So, do you actually have any farking idea what this site is about? It might help to turn the "butthurt/literalist" dial down a bit and the "humor" dial up. You know, so you're not wasting everyone's time explaining what the hell Fark is about to you.

Drew, good blog. My best to the missus and the new one. 8)
 
2009-09-29 12:33:33 AM  
I'm actually surprised that we're this deep into the school year and we have yet to encounter a first-time article that speaks frankly about sex and relationships from some silly bint freshman journalism student.

Unless there already has been and I missed it.

There's at least one or two that make it to Fark every year around this time, and they are usually drenched in condescension and gross assumptions. They deserve our ire.
 
2009-09-29 01:22:36 AM  
Lots43: Old news is old. Drew fails.

Seconded, drew i thought this was in your book, or maybe i imagined it. The odd thing about this case is that its not news so much as people saying it. They are often of a certain age and its more like a 6 year cycle:
watch in early hs... forget about it for a while... see a good skit on youtube, etc., then claim to miss the good old days

fact is at least 65-80% of SNL has always sucked by season and thats being kind. They always, however, come up with a few good skits.

/old drew is old
 
2009-09-29 08:45:11 AM  
vudukungfu: maybe that will stifle the SNL isn't funny punks.
comedy is hard work.


Then they need to work harder.

Seriously, that newscast... it's the worst it's ever been. They've got all week to write just a few funny jokes, and I never even crack a smile. All it does is make me angry that they get paid so much to sit around and fart into their chairs all week while apparently doing absolutely nothing, then realize on Thursday or Friday that they're screwed and actually try to make something funny at the last minute. And they just never get it done.

How about the "Really?" routine they keep trotting out on the news? All they do is state some odd fact or event that just happened, and in the absence of something funny to say or anything resembling a joke or a punchline, they just yell "Really?" a half dozen times. Is that comedy? I think it's pathetic.

And the fat black dude? He can only seem to speak in one voice, no matter who he's playing, and it's not funny. And this "Zut alors" thing he's tried out about 10 times now... is it the least bit amusing to anyone but him? Does even he think this is funny? I actually think he might be aware that it's not funny at all, and I hope he cries himself to sleep every night with the knowledge that he's a talentless fraud. He should really get out of the way for someone funnier, like, say, Carrot Top or Dane Cook, or someone who only makes jokes about dead babies and cancer.
 
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