People will see what they want to see. Often to the point of missing what else is also there right in front of them.
It started before Memorial Day. A test to see how perceptive our readers are. In the ‘Holiday Weekend Public Service Announcement’, in a post ostensibly reminding people that the Memorial Day Weekend was about thanking the troops (spoiler: it’s not), I wanted to include a picture of some troops. Not American troops, but those of our #1 geopolitical foe, Russia, as a test of visual acuity. A stock photo of some goose-stepping Russian special forces on parade was found, and added to the post.
No one noticed. until somewhat later.
In early July, after a rambling blog post/manifesto/suicide note from Scott Kacsmar gave people a friendly reminder of The Journal, I thought it would be fun to slip another hidden message into one of the Cleaning Out the Sports Junk Drawer columns. The die was cast.
I spoke with Managing Editor Steve Bosell about adding the hidden message, and it was decided to add some padding around the message. As Winston Churchill eloquently said; truth is so precious it should be attended with a bodyguard of lies. It was concluded that the padding would be intentionally controversial, and with the July 4th holiday approaching, President Donald Trump’s planned ‘military parade’ was on everybody’s mind. So the plan was to arrange the column so that the first letter of consecutive sentences would spell out MAGA and then TRUMP. *
However, unbeknownst to me, Editor Bosell unilaterally decided that if one MAGA and one TRUMP was funny AND created controversy (and pageviews), than THREE MAGA’s and TWO TRUMP’s would be even better. So some of my intended content was scrapped, and some strangely phrased musings added.
If no one had noticed, as they hadn’t with the Russian troops picture, everything would have been fine. But perceptive readers, such as Chris Staiti (@realStaiti) and particularly Brad Rifkin (@RightAt_TheTime)** did notice, and noticed the Russian troops picture, and took great offense, perhaps understandably. Of course, being away of vacation during this time prevented me from conducting a full investigation into the matter until recently.
Suffice to say we here at The Journal have learned our lesson, and will not do anything of the like going forward.
But what was the actual ‘hidden message’ that was lost in all the MAGA TRUMP noise? It’s right there; between the 2nd MAGA and the 2nd TRUMP. A call out to everyone’s fave NESN personality;
That’s right, Mr. Tom Caron, bitches.
Patrick Scartelli is a columnist for BJBSJournal. He resides in Plainville, MA.
*- The notion that The Journal tacitly or explicitly blindly supports President Trump is ludicrous, much like the notion that the staff voted for him en masse in 2016. Such an occurrence would have been nigh-impossible, due to staff members variously being foreign nationals, precluded from voting due to state laws disenfranchising convicted felons, being on the ballot in opposition to then-candidate Trump and a multitude of other reasons that are both unique and sufficient.
**- Mr Rifkin’s twitter account regrettably appears to have been hacked.