Ha-ha! Just kidding. No Lindsey Vonn controversy has erupted. And if it did, it would probably be a bunch of noise about nothing. But a million people would click on that mother. So if you clicked here because you wanted some good old-fashioned Lindsey Vonn controversy, sorry, but thanks for clicking. Because that’s how we measure Media Value these days.
Feel free to voice your displeasure at my subterfuge by clicking on all my archived articles and commenting, and then retweeting about it and asking all your friends to do the same. This travesty must not stand. Controversy erupts! Man the twitter stations! Click!
Where was I? That’s right, I was going to write about Contemporary Ski Journalism, or Esquijournalismo Ahora. But someone else already did.
“With a few rare exceptions…sportswriters are a kind of rude and brainless subculture of fascist drunks whose only real function is to publicize and sell whatever the sports editor sends them out to cover… Which is a nice way to make a living, because it keeps a man busy and it requires no thought at all. The two keys to success as a sportswriter are: (1) A blind willingness to believe anything you’re told by the coaches, flacks, coaches, and other ‘official spokesmen’ for the team owners who provide the free booze… and: (2) A Roget’s Thesaurus, to avoid using the same verbs and adjectives twice in the same paragraph.”
The best way to achieve a high Internet Score is if it involves a kitten doing something cute or a famous lady’s breasts.
Hunter S. Thompson wrote that in 1972, but it’s just as true today. I would argue that in the ski media you don’t even need key #2. So I’m trolling for clicks with Lindsey Vonn and debating about whether or not to just switch to a 140-character format for my column. Because it doesn’t matter whether I research and write a thoughtful, searching 3,000-word disquisition on an urgent safety issue—say, something about a secret cabal of orthopedists and binding manufacturers conspiring to blow everyone’s knees—or just caption someone’s Instagram feed.
The best way to achieve a high Internet Score is if someone leaks your content to the Mass Market via Facebook, generating a groundswell of 10-cent clicks. Which is more likely if it involves a kitten doing something cute or a famous lady’s breasts. In other words: exactly not what I do.
With the lone exception of when I write about superstar women ski racers, this space is devoted to topics that sometimes earn it a spot in the ski patrol locker room, but not the Facebook page of your aunt in Omaha. Which would be great if I could live off the goodwill of ski patrollers, because those guys hook me up like crazy, but you can’t live on beer and control-route pow.
So maybe it’s time for a whole new Online Strategy. Social Media! POV video and Instagram! Or maybe not. The ski world already has enough self-absorbed go-getters bent on cultivating their Personal Brand and other things that decent people hold in contempt.
Maybe I just need to pimp The Industry. The Jaded Local: brought to you by Red Bull, Oakley, Nike, and other companies that love cynical derelicts. And then what? I’d end up covering the X-Games. And going back to my hotel room every night to sob in the shower, fully clothed and curled in a fetal position, trying to wash the stain off, but I can’t because now it’s on the inside…
So that’s out then. I did actually consider blackmailing various companies by threatening to Taint Their Brand somehow, but then the bartender brought my drink and a girl walked by so I forgot about it. I still think there’s something there, though. It would be like anti-marketing. Aggressive all-mountain anti-marketing. Unless you pay me, I’ll wear your gear and then ski like crap, just hack it up all day long right under the chairlift.
I could just fill the space underneath the headline where the information used to go with verses from the Book of Revelation or REO Speedwagon lyrics.
I guess if there’s one lesson here, it’s the Lindsey Vonn thing. What made you click? The headline. You wanted to know just what she was up to now. Maybe I just need to focus on the headlines, and forget the rest, the actual “content” part. Most ski media has almost given up on copy editing, fact-checking… I could just fill the space underneath the headline where the information used to go with verses from the Book of Revelation or REO Speedwagon lyrics.
Viral Jaded Local headlines you can look forward to this winter:
Siberian Husky Saves Adorable Kitten
Lindsey Vonn: Sideboob?
Breaking Video of Massive Avalanche Destroying Vail
Will your bindings explode and rip your legs off?
Lindsey Vonn Saves Adorable Kitten
Affordable Ski Town Apartment For Rent
I Trained A Chimpanzee To Race Super G—and so can you!
The Gnarliest Thing Ever?
Eight Tips For Great Abs From Lindsey Vonn’s Sideboob
Reptile People Take Over Summit County
Red Bull Linked To Penis Shrinkage
You Won’t Believe What Lindsey Vonn Did Now!
Hey, I think I’m getting the hang of this. Look out, Digital Media Platform: ¡Viva Esquijournalismo Ahora!