On February 23, 2022

Money can’t buy you love

By Dom Cioffi

When I wake up, one of the first things I do after I grab a cup of coffee is sit down with my iPad and read the news. I used to read the daily newspaper every morning, but the high delivery costs and ease of consuming online editions rendered this easier. (Thank God for those free weekly papers, which have kept the beauty of newsprint alive!) In some ways, I miss the tactile feel and musty smell of a fresh newspaper every morning, which is ironic since I always complained about the ink getting my hands dirty. It’s easy to forget that newspapers are a multi-use item. After you’re done reading them, you can use them as packing material for shipping boxes, crumble them up to help start a fire, or slide them under your cat’s litter box. I still have Christmas decorations packed in old newspapers, and every year when I take them out, I look at the articles and smile with a sense of nostalgia.

I suppose my iPad is a multi-use item as well, it just lacks the melancholy appeal of newsprint.

Submitted – Click here to watch the trailer

Nevertheless, every morning I read the news, drawing from several sources that have changed considerably over the years. I used to visit the websites of the major news channels, but I’ve shied away from that in recent years since their overall biases have begun to play too big of a role for my liking.

Instead, I opt for news aggregates, which collect news items from across the web and then present them in a manner where the most read or most popular articles move to the forefront. I’ve always felt that aggregates gave me a good sense of the pulse of the people, or at least an understanding of what’s grabbing the attention of the masses. Once I get a feel for what’s brewing in the world, I’ll then investigate a little deeper to see if the consensus is out of whack with reality. (Sadly, I’m finding the consensus out of whack with reality more often than I’d prefer.)

The one downside of aggregates is that I see a lot of news that I don’t care about. Back when I read the physical edition of USA Today, I could easily remove any section that didn’t interest me — like the one with all the celebrity gossip. Nowadays, if you click on one of those celebrity stories (most likely because it had an irresistible inflammatory headline or sexy photo), you’ll likely get force-fed an unending stream of similar content.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been interested in what the Kardashians are up to on a day-to-day basis and yet, I get a constant stream of articles relating to their activities. I’ve tried to adjust my aggregate’s preferences, but to no avail. The Kardashians have an otherworldly hold on the news, making us all pawns in their celebrity kingdom.

The Kardashians made it okay to create news stories out of the most mundane statements or activities. All Kim needs to do is mention something she ate and the whole world goes on a buying spree for that item. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she had to go and marry the most famous (and arguably craziest) rapper in the world.

Kim and Kanye’s courtship, marriage, pregnancies, divorce, trips to Starbucks, and everything in between have resulted in more useless news stories than the world could ever consume.

And yet, we keep clicking on them.

I can resist for a certain amount of time, but there comes a point where one of those damn girls does something that makes me click an article. In my defense, I am admittedly intrigued with their unique fame, but I’m most impressed with their ability to constantly monetize their fame into profitable business models.

Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they’ve created a whole new arena in the business world by commandeering new technologies before anyone else understands what’s going on.   Unfortunately, their celebrity, while lining their pockets with billions of dollars, has not treated them well in their personal relationships, proving once again that money can’t buy you love.

This week’s film, “I Want You Back,” starring Charlie Day and Jenny Slate, also features a pair of failed relationships and what lengths two people will go to to save them.

Peter and Emma have both been dumped by their significant others, and when they run into each other in the stairwell of their office building, the two hatch a plan to help one another get their partners back (you can see where this is going a mile away).

This one is made in the classic rom-com style, and while it isn’t filled with much laugh-out-loud comedy, it does have enough heart and appeal to make it worth watching.

A charming “B-” for “I Want You Back,” available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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