Ines Sainz, Wikipedia and the loss of perspective

Right about now, Ines Sainz is doing her fourth or fifth lap around the media circuit.

She’s been on National Television, she’s made the nightly news, she’s ignited a national ferver and is No. 1 on Google Trends.

Deadspin, the most valuable and widely-read sports blog on the Internet, authored 11 posts about her in the past three days.

She didn’t win or create anything; didn’t pass a law or survive a terminal illness. Didn’t drop an album or release a film. Nope. Some young dudes with unchecked libidos flirted with her in a manner unbecoming a civilized gentleman.

By the way, that’s it.

And she’s (for the moment) become the most famous woman in America. And this will suffice as news, and we won’t even bat an eye or complain.

Because she’s hot. Ines Sainz is smokin’, smolderin’, Sahara-desert-on-a-summer-day hot. And that’s why you’ll watch. And read. And peruse through copious photo galleries.

And those women, they’ll be inclined to click, too. Because they’ll have the opportunity to research and have their say on how a woman should be treated, in a way that isn’t Title IX-level dry. Victimization draws the female support (and ratings!). Ask Erin Andrews. Ask Oprah.

Our minds are wired to seek gratification in ever-faster, ever-more-shallow methods. It’s the same mindset that causes people masturbate six times a day rather than commit to a loving, sexual relationship. It’s why we spend one hour at the gym, and two hours tweeting about it. It’s why we eat fast food instead of fresh food for dinner. We need it now, and our news (especially sports news) has kept up with (and, in some cases, dictated) our accelerated pace.

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There are 9,000 words in the Wikipedia entry about “World of Warcraft.” The American Revolution, one the most consequential actual wars in world history, has about 13,000 devoted to it. By this crude method, one can deduce that an RPG video game has roughly two-thirds the relevance, importance and endurance as the first major war overthrowing a colonial-style government.

Jay-Z has a longer entry than Henry Ford. Paris Hilton has a longer entry than M-Theory.

You can read about anything current, anything sexy and anything cool, anytime. As much as you want. And you will still know nothing.

Crowdsourcing has made it easier than ever to find what other people are interested in, but has paradoxically made it harder to find what’s actually important.

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Is it socially responsible for a respected news outlet to plaster photo galleries of Ms. Sainz within the body of an article that claims she may have been sexually harassed? Probably not, but it is easy to see why it needs to be done.

Is it socially responsible that Google and Wikipedia make it easier to read up on the trivial – and potentially inaccurate – and harder to research deep knowledge? Probably not, but they don’t really have a say. Both entities are mere slaves to the wisdom and passion of the masses who share the information the rest of the masses consume.

I write about sports because at the end of the day, it is more pleasing to scribe satire about things that don’t matter much. It is all a game, and in the super-sized mosaic of meaning, merely a small, brightly colored square on the canvas.

But that square is being swallowed by the billboard-sized photos of half-naked hotties, infidelity scandals, the new release of Madden ’11 and whooooaaaa … another 20-photo spread of “Sexy Fans of the Pac-10”!!!11!1! (C’mon, why do you think I’m using a swimsuit shot as the photo for this post? You clicked, didn’t you?)

And you’ll hear all about it, because you’ll read all about it. It is interesting, but it is not meaningful. Our perspectives are skewed because our we don’t naturally gravitate toward meaning or perspective or edification.

We gravitate toward the salacious, the sexy and the state-of-the-art. And, if we continue to do so long enough, our entire surroundings will engulf us in just that: Salacious, sexy, state-of-the-art.

Sounds interesting, but not meaningful.

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We’ll be back tomorrow, with more hot photos and scandal.

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