Dispatch From Dullsville
Michael Kinsley, the former editor of The New Republic who now writes for The Atlantic and is not insane, had an amusing post the other day announcing a “Boring Article Contest.” His nominee is a piece from the New York Times, of which Kinsley’s description is considerably funnier than the article itself:
The story that grabbed my inattention was in the New York Times on Monday, July 26. It was about a man who used to take long walks around the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, until he died last week. That’s it. That’s the story. In Silver Lake, he was wittily known as “the Walking Man.” (You see, it’s because he walked all the time). . . .
So what inner demons possessed him and caused him to take long walks nearly every day? The Times reporter asked neighbors. “He walked, he told them, to keep fit.” Of all things.
We think we can top this. Here is an article from yesterday’s Leaf Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn., which we shall quote in full:
Elise Shelton, Chief Communications Officer for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, confirmed this afternoon an investigation is under way at Clarksville High regarding an incident that was reported to school officials when the football team attended camp last week.
Shelton said administrators at Clarksville High were undertaking the investigation, and were taking statements about any issue “that did or did not occur.”
Shelton said school administrators were hoping to conclude the investigation this week.
If there is any student involvement in the incident, the names of those students would be withheld, along with any punishment, Shelton said.
“We can’t say anything until they have had time to finish the investigation, and we don’t want to interrupt that,” Shelton said.
You’ve heard of the five W’s and one H? This article takes five paragraphs to tell us where and when, but leaves out who, what, why, how–and, for extra measure, whether. If it’s not the most boring article ever, we need a new category for least informative.