Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

I remember distinctly the day I moved from New York City to Charlottesville, Va., for graduate school. I sat in a cookie-cutter apartment in a nondescript complex with an incongruously charming name and twiddled my thumbs. Rather than unpack boxes, I decided to explore my new stomping grounds. As I walked around the town’s hub, known as The Corner, I spied a stack of newspapers on a checkout counter. What better way to start acclimating than to read about the goings-on in my new home? During my time in New York, I had ridden, the subway to some extraordinary headlines. (On a side note, I talked about New York like I was born and raised there for about a month until a guy in my section from Park Slope smacked me on the back of the head and told me to “knock it off, Hillbilly.”) What news was breaking here? I glanced at the bold letters above the fold.

Researchers baffled by decline in pet adoptions.

It was the middle of summer in a university town. Of course, it was a slow news day. I can only imagine what the haggard editor and his gaggle of interns had to dig through to come up with that.

That was the ’90s. News was still somewhat selective. By that, I mean there seemed to be someone somewhere gleaning what was deemed ‘newsworthy.’ Today it seems no such person, and no such distinction for that matter, exists. Yes, it’s July. Yes, it’s a long holiday weekend. Yes, people are on vacation. However, it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, the 24-hour news outlets could find a better use of their air time than trolling the depths for every–any–story that might, in the broadest sense of the term, be considered news. By way of example, I have listed some of the headlines from last week.

A Day in the Life of Weird Al Yankovic

Does it involve performing on a subway platform? If I guess it, do I win something?

Sheep Turns Tables on Wolf

Darwin would have a field day. In centuries to come, who knows who will be the hunter and who the hunted…?

How will Lupo’s Life Change with the Royal Arrival?

The name may not be as familiar as Bo or Millie, but Lupo is the Royal dog, a black cocker spaniel. Oh, and how will his life change when Kate gives birth? If you answered not one bit, give yourself a gold star.

Mariah Carey Lip Syncs at BET Awards

I think I speak for everyone when I say, “And…”

Brad Pitt’s Best Movies—for his Hair

Finally, something worth writing about. Um, is “all of them” too easy? I mean, say what you want about his acting, but you cannot fault the man’s hair. I don’t care if it’s the flowing locks of Legends of the Fall or the edgy buzz cut from Mr. and Mrs. Smith…but I digress. Yeah, that’s a stupid story.

Is Miley Cyrus Obsessed with Short Shorts?

These headlines that are longer than the actual stories have to be strange for reporters.

Have Lemurs Become Street Smart?

‘Become?’ Where the hell have these people been?

I guess I shouldn’t be complaining. It’s nice to have a bit of dull news every once in a while. It’s summer. It’s supposed to be lazy. Now that I think about it, a slow news day sounds perfect.