I visit a few websites on a daily basis to get the news I'm interested in. I read CNN
in the hopes that they'll actually have news up, as opposed to celebrity gossip; I'm only disappointed about half the time, which is enough of a success rate to keep me coming back. I then go read Media Matters for America
, to read about the latest ridiculous remarks from politicians and commentators. They're a bit farther left than I am, and take umbrage at more things -- but when it's your job to look for those things, that only makes sense. So I skim the page there for egregious offenses, then move on to the Motley Fool
, the currency market
and the stock market
, so I can complain about the state of the US dollar and shake my fist at my stocks to get them to perform better.
The thing is, all of these sites say basically the same thing every day. In the perspicacious words of the Onion, most of the articles I actually read on CNN tend to read like this: Middle East Conflict Intensifies As Blah Blah Blah, Etc. Etc
-- except for the ones about the current attorney firing debacle, which have their own template. I snort in derision about any celebrity names I happen to see, occasionally read the articles anyway with the excuse that I'm doing it to remain aware of modern culture, and move on. It's the same thing at Media Matters; every article is either "[name of commentator/politician] is a lying jerk
," "Keith Olbermann says [name of commentator/politician]
is a lying jerk" or "[name of commentator/politician] attacks us
for calling [him/her]
a lying jerk."
Clearly, I don't really object to this format, as I read it every day -- but it's undeniably repetitive. And the currency and stock markets are a jumble of graphs that I can understand, but only have the vaguest idea what to expect from, so the articles often reduce to "This stock went up for reasons you don't grasp" and "This currency pairing dropped due to circumstances you can't follow." I'm working on that, but it's slow going.
The thing is, I appreciate the information I get from the articles; I'd just like to spice them up a little. That's why I've begun work on a Greasemonkey
script that will do minor letter substitutions in certain words to make the articles more entertaining. I'm trying to keep it simple; so far, it changes "money" to "monkey," and "claims" to "clams." Also, it changes "stock" to "sloth," which is a bigger change, but also much funnier; I'm vastly more amused by reading about fluctuations in the sloth market.
It's a fairly sparse script right now, but as I notice more oft-repeated terms, I'll add to it. Everything's better with a few random animals added to it. In terms of news sites, anyway; I generally try to keep animals out of, say, my kitchen. They might still be amusing there, but on the whole, I think that'd be more detrimental than anything else.
Mood of the Moment: weird
Auditory Hallucination: Skullmonkeys -- Elevated Structure of Terror