Do we call this news….
So, I was looking around at where my incoming links were coming from and I came across ‘surchur‘, a website that shows hot topics. Say it fast and it makes more sense. In any case, I noticed that Dairy Queen was apparently ‘Catching Fire’. It occurred to me that A)I should check in here more often to see what is going on in the online world, B) the volcano that has been erupting has a crazy name that I doubt I can pronounce, and I am guessing this is why I keep hearing that it is a volcano in Iceland rather than it is the ‘Eyjafjallajokull‘ volcano, and C) a lot of people are writing about Dairy Queen.
I figured they were just offering some crazy unhealthy food item, so I thought I would take a look. Turns out I was wrong. It is the Blizzards 25th Birthday(here, here, here and here). Turns out on top of the free Blizzards that Dairy Queen’s aptly named ‘Blizzardmobile’ will be giving out, there will be a Buy One Get One for $0.25 promotion. I HATE all fast food and candy promotions that try to get you to eat 2 of anything. My local 7-11 is always pushing me to eat 2 of everything. If I order a breakfast burrito (ya, don’t judge, I only do it if I have forgotten my breakfast, which is rare and I never get 2), they are always cajoling me to take part in their twofer offer. “Come on, have 2, it will only cost you another 11 cents…”. I always reject this offer, but I am sure they are pretty much ready to say, “Okay, okay, just empty the lint out of your pocket, that is all we want for this second burrito, just take the burrito we need the room in our hotdog rollers….”. The thing is, I love food, and I am trying very hard not to eat until I burst, so when I have people telling me it essentially free to keep stuffing myself with very tasty food, and suggesting that it is rude of me to reject this great offer, it makes it all the harder to say no.
We live at a time of plenty where food costs are ridiculously disproportionate to their food value. We also live at a time of significant obesity. The two are connected. What I find most annoying about all of this is that most of us have an unhealthy connection with food, bordering on and sometimes way beyond an addiction. If we looked at the food offers we are getting as being addictive substances to some of us rather than just food, the whole food pushing issue becomes quite disturbing. Imagine if it was alcohol. Many people would be able to say no, but what would you think about someone who was pushing a reformed alcoholic into drinking and drinking more…
So, this is why I hate any food deal connected to a BOGO offer. The deals always make us say, ‘Oh, why not’ even when our weak judgement tells us exactly why not. Still, this isn’t the reason behind this blog entry. What annoyed me when I saw these articles was that they were all saying the same thing, all essentially copies of the press release sent out by Dairy Queen. Then I realized, that is okay, these are mostly blogs, each with their own point of view, so it is okay that a few of them are just reprints of the same story… it isn’t like the news is doing this….
Oh, wait…it is?!!?!?…(here, here, here and here). In fact, almost every news outlet is running a version of this story. No research, just a rehash of the press release with maybe an additional nostalgia moment sharing their first blizzard story. It is like they all went to the same school of news, yet instead of being taught about reporting news, they learned instead how to pull off a corporate press release about some product and regurgitate it to us. There is no new take on the story, no one is reporting anything, just rehashing… Almost all of the news that is created for us follows this pattern and almost all of it is being generated from press releases by corporations. It is corporate advertorial news. I would say that this is a shameful waste of time and energy, but I don’t see where anyone is putting in any time nor any energy. It isn’t like this story is even being printed on paper, so it isn’t a waste of trees either… Just a sad preview of our future, where news is corporate advertising.
Does anyone realize the value of all of this ‘news’ in terms of advertising dollars? It is staggering and we are all just playing along. So far as we know no one is being paid to run this story… so it isn’t corrupt, just sad. What lazy journalism, if I can even use that word. It is no wonder that people have turned to blogs for their news because the only chance of getting a real story is in blogs these days. The news companies are just going to keep churning out their own slanted views of the corporate press releases and wonder why they are becoming less and less relevant every day.
By the way I did discover that the week of April 17th to 25th is actually Free National Parks week as well, so my vote is skip the ‘Buy one blizzard get the second for a quarter’ offer and instead go visit one of your national parks. Walk around a little and enjoy nature. Go on a hike. Get away from the media as well. This tidbit of news wasn’t catching on fire on ‘Surchur’, but I am guessing you already figured that out. I am thinking I will skip that site because I am not so sure I need to be keeping up with internet trends…
NOTE: Who am I kidding, I am not going to skip the $0.25 Blizzard deal if I remember it, and I doubt anyone else will. Do try to go for a hike at one of the National Parks though. If the weather is nice and you go with some friends or your family, this could be the start of a great habit. There really is nothing nicer than hiking on a beautiful day. If you end up going to DQ after and rewarding yourselves with a Blizzard, well then, at least you earned it!