"The Shamu story establishes once and for all that men are the new women. You can now use the New York Times to write the most dehumanizing and insulting shit about them and everybody will laugh in recognition."
Shafer's first lesson trumps the rest:
Editors in search of page views should emulate the Times (and Slate) and pimp their headlines to attract attention. As long as the headline is half-honest, it's OK.
The Times article is headlined "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage." Who (besides me) wouldn't want to read about that? Sadly, the article is not about Shamu or a happy marriage, making it even duller than the headline suggests.
I'm always amused by the Google search terms that lead people to this blog. I still get a surprising number of hits (anything more than one would be surprising) from searches for Skunk Cabbage. It's not just Shafer's "Lesson No. 5: Animals, animals, animals. Let me repeat: Animals, animals, animals..." My visitors are searching, not just for skunks but the total skunk cabbage concept. Runners-up in google search terms leading here are: Woodpeckers and Apricots - not among my most profound articles - and China's One Child Policy.