Friday, January 25, 2008

Missing Hiker Overtakes Bus Plunge

The Horror, The Horror!From Wikipedia:

Bus plunge stories are a journalism phenomenon of reporting passenger bus mishaps in short articles that invariably describe the bus as "plunging" from a bridge or hillside road. The phenomenon has been noted in the New York Times, which once published as many as 14 "bus plunge" stories per year in its foreign news section. The stories made the news not because of their perceived newsworthiness, but because copy editors could edit the details into a few lines and use them to fill gaps in the page layout. The adoption of computerized layout tools has reduced the need for such filler stories, but news wires continue to carry them.

I first noticed the "bus plunge" when I was a junior at St. Agnes High School, sitting in study hall and reading the New York Times. They just flat jumped out at me. For over forty years I have been following the bus plunge, some might venture more literally than figuratively.

I've written about this before. Since the advent of computer generated layout of newspapers, the bus plunge has been on a long downhill slide.

Some past commentators have opined that this blog has been on a long downhill slide also.

For instance, some one said this: "Is busplunge the blogger headed right. I see some evidence of this with pictures of you in the military and pics of giant buses (I am assume to compensate for smaller things in your life)"

And someone else said this: "bus plunge doesn't deal with criticism well."

And of course, my personal favorite: "Where's our daily plunge? too busy screening comments not to your liking? Hey, you're either in the daily commentary game or you're not!"

Then, this morning, as I got up early and read my daily blogs, I quickly realized that I was precariously close to plunging over the edge into the land of non relevance as had the "Bus Plunge".

The fact of the matter is I had long suspected this day would come, but, in my cock-eyed optimism, I had always hoped it would be later than sooner. I had long suspected that it would be "correction" (like this example or this example) that overtook the bus plunge.

I was wrong.

It came out of nowhere, first noticed by an alert bus rider from Nebraska who conveyed the disheartening news to me via a third party.

Forwarded Message: In a message dated 1/24/08 2:12:43 PM, writes:<< Observation..."Missing hiker" has overtaken "Bus Plunge" as favorite of headline creators. >>

Missing hiker.
Missing hiker.
Missing Hiker

Disheartened, I turned, for comfort, to three blogs I read everyday, this one and this one and this one. But they knew,as our email forwarders knew and constant bus riders had suspected, even before I, that the bus plunge, the elderly crank, seemed to be horribly out of the loop.

Oh, the horror, the horror.

It is fitting, therefore, on this, the darkest of days in the land of the plunging buses, to announce the winners of the 2007 Yellow and Black Plunger Awards.. It is ironical, given the foreshadowed and, by some, much hoped for demise of the bus plunge, that it was nominated in every category by the crackerjack panel of judges

2007 Yellow And Black Plunger Award Winners:

Best Special Event Coverage: Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Best Comical: Thursday, October 4, 2007

Best News: Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Best Entertainment: Sunday, December 16, 2007

Best Photography:Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Best Personal: Friday, December 7, 2007

Best Local Coverage: Three Way Tie: August 24, 2007 and August 24, 2007 and August 24, 2007

Best Resource: Saturday, July 21, 2007

Best Sports: Monday, August 6, 2007

Best Political: August 22, 2007

Most Improved: October 24, 2007

Rookie Blog Of The Year: December 29, 2007

Blog Post of the Year: Three Way Tie: Saturday, September 15, 2007 and Wednesday, June 20, 2007 and Friday, September 7, 2007

Blog of the Year: With 1199 referrals and 2,498 page hits,The Blog Of The Year!BTW, check out my new blog


Jason said...


Anonymous said...

That pic at the top of the post looks like Marlon Brando, what a weird foreshadowing of the death of his son Christian along with the death of the "busplunge" (not the blog, but the newspaper reporting of plunges)

Busplunge said...

The pic at the top IS a photo of Marlon Brando, from the film Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Holy Cow, Christian Brando died today, January 26, 2008!

The CDM said...

Great plunger pic. I always wondered how the "Busplunge" name came about.