November 18, 2021

"Cow struck and killed by milk truck..."

The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

And this is news because....? 

It's a test of whether you're an asshole — i.e., did you think it was funny? The irony or something. Poetic justice? What's the literary term that applies when a humble being is further humbled by the force that has been humbling it all along?

I think the editors must think it's funny. The struck/truck rhyme is evidence. Or do you think the headline writers are so inept with language that they don't notice and fix unintended rhymes? Actually, that's what I think. If you wanted the rhyme, wouldn't you improve the meter? 


tim in vermont said...

Too soon, Ann?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Yum - hamburgers!! And the milk truck is doing it's part to save us from global warming, one cow at a time!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Well it’s not grand master irony like “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar,” but it ranks higher than the photos of a stake-bed truck piled with used tires stranded with a flat on the side of the road. Not quite a giggler but I did go “Hmmm” when I saw it. I mean odds are that this scenario probably happens in WI or my state CA now and then since we have so many cows and milk trucks that can potentially meet.

mezzrow said...

As a former milkman and longtime Divco enthusiast, I find no humor whatsoever in this.

Whether it's rhyme or free verse, wrong is wrong.

StokedLaw said...

Industrialized Whiteness crushes being of color, footage at 6!

tim in vermont said...

I think that the story of the cow hit by a mild truck would be told in the "naturalistic school" of literature. Here is a snippet from the plot summary of Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie":

Hurstwood ultimately becomes one of the homeless of New York, taking odd jobs, falling ill with pneumonia, and finally becoming a beggar. He ultimately commits suicide in a flophouse. - Wikipedia

I think that Dreiser could have done a pretty good job with that cow's life story.

Or maybe Fellini would have been a better choice, here is the ending of La Strada, which I just watched on Criterion, and enjoyed, despite this [SPOILER ALERT] depressing ending:

The killing breaks Gelsomina's spirit and she becomes apathetic, constantly repeating, "The Fool is hurt." Zampanò makes a few small attempts to console her, but in vain. Fearful he will no longer be able to earn a living with Gelsomina, Zampanò abandons her while she sleeps, leaving some clothes, money, and his trumpet.

Some years later, he overhears a woman singing the very tune Gelsomina often played. He learns that the woman's father had found Gelsomina on the beach and kindly taken her in. However, she had wasted away and died. Zampanò gets drunk, gets in a fight with the locals, and wanders to the beach, where he breaks down in tears.

Enigma said...

This is Man Bites Dog version 884,485,321. Get more attention, sell more ads.

If you haven't done so yet, you might wish to analyze the infamous Alanis Morrisette song "Ironic." None of her examples are actually irony. Tragedies yes, ironies no.

tim maguire said...

Does it make you an asshole to think the death of the cow is funny if you regularly consume steaks and burgers and/or wear leather? It seems to me you're just being consistent. Bovine lives don't matter. (FWIW, I did not laugh, but I am somewhat irony impaired in some areas--I did not automatically make the connection of milk truck/cow as easily as I did the one about the Irish temperance activist who was killed by a whisky wagon.)

I agree that the rhyme is unintended for the reasons you give--"cow struck by truck" is intentional. "Cow struck and killed by truck" is happenstance.

Lash LaRue said...

“ It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

gilbar said...

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
she starts with a moo, and dies by the milk

W.Cook said...

Apparently it was news enough to make

Iman said...

Wake up and smell the cheese…

mgarbowski said...

I think the rhyme was unintentional, and not a problem. "Struck" is a solid headline word. You could change it, maybe to "hit," but "struck" better conveys what happened.
The poor meter, to me, minimizes and even removes the effect of the inadvertent rhyme. The headline is fine. But I agree the newsworthiness of the story is suspect.

rehajm said...

It's no Headless Body in Topless Bar but it will do in a...pinch.

Bob Boyd said...

I know a guy who crashed into a whole herd of cows on a county road (open range) with a Peterbilt flatbed ten-wheeler hauling a huge precast concrete septic tank. It wasn't particularly ironic, but what a mess.

Temujin said...

I vote for the headline writers being inept. They're part of the Journalism! team.

MadisonMan said...

I think it would be better irony if the truck driver was killed. Apologies to the truck driver.
"Cow struck and creamed by milk truck" would be a better headline.

Lurker21 said...

This is where Jon Stewart would say, "O, the irony!"

But official statistics will probably list the cow's passing as a COVID death.

Wince said...

Cow struck and killed by milk truck...

An udder tragedy.

Lyle Smith said...

Cow struck and fucked by milk truck - perhaps that was the original line.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Irony ... are you thinking of George Carlin?

He said something like: imagine a diabetic who has to make an emergency run to a pharmacy for insulin. On the way there he is struck by a truck (oops) and killed. Sad, tragic, not ironic. Now: the truck is filled with sugar. Perhaps darkly comic. Not ironic. Now: the truck is filled with insulin. Irony.

Irony probably can't apply to a cow, who would be unlikely to see the irony.

Leland said...

It’s a tragic story. It truly is. Still, the cow just wanted back what was rightfully hers and put her life on the line to get it.

Had she lived, I’m sure ADA Binger would have prosecuted her.

Mr. Forward said...

A cow was struck.
But do we care?
Or are we much to debonair?
Out ambling, chewing cud
It must have been a terrible thud
When truck and bovine do collide
Does it matter what's inside?

dbp said...

The Cow, comes out okay in this one.


rhhardin said...

It's a reversal, so unexpected and clever, which puts it on the joke spectrum.

It stands for reality and any democrat policy.

rhhardin said...

Women have no sense of humor because they go to feelings instead of structure. How horrible for the cow.

rhhardin said...

[Fill in any NYT columnist] struck and killed by newspaper delivery truck

rhhardin said...

Humorist struck and killed by women's rights van.

BoatSchool said...

Perhaps the headline team and/or the actual article writer were channeling their inner “The Far Side”, by cartoonist Gary Larson.

My first thought was sounds like his cartoon where an out-of-control butcher’s truck is barreling down a hill into a vegetarian restaurant full of diners.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Iman said...

She got the milk cow blues…

Randomizer said...

Thank you Ann, this is the kind of post I can't get anywhere else.

I read the news headline, "Cow Stuck and Killed by Milk Truck", and mentally shrugged. Obviously it's supposed to be a wry observation or ironic or something, but it fails.

"It's a test of whether you're an asshole" and "What's the literary term that applies when a humble being is further humbled by the force that has been humbling it all along?"

That strikes me as the most uniquely Althouse piece I've ever read, and it slays me. Keep up the good work.

Joe Smith said...

Isn't this the same as a person being hit by a bus?

If it happened in Detroit, would it have been chocolate milk?

Andrew said...

Cow struck, and killed
By milk truck, filled
With milk
Like silk

Richard said...

Wouldn't this be more a case of biting the hand that feeds you?

farmgirl said...

Unless a woman owned the cow, rh.
Horrible for both, then. Idk if the cow slipped the fence or was rightly crossing the road- I’ve been close to being hit a few times, not because I wasn’t seen, or the cows weren’t seen- but, because people don’t pay f/king attention or slow down to avoid accidents. Even when we’re in the middle of a dirt road w/a torrent of black and white bovines flooding across into pasture. Bizarre entitlements. I

I’ve seen cows hit before: it ain’t pretty.

It is ironic that it was a milk truck: do u think any milk got spilt?

Darrell Harris said...

I'm left unmooved by this story.

tolkein said...

What's funny about a cow dying?

Scot said...

Cow struck and killed by dairy truck.

There, I fixed the scansion.
And I admire the internal rhyme.

rcocean said...

What's so funny about it. Cows are killed all the time. This time it was a milk truck. I guess if I was 10 years old I'd find it "ironic".

Ann Althouse said...

"That strikes me as the most uniquely Althouse piece I've ever read, and it slays me. Keep up the good work"

Thanks... and if you only knew I had a Bob Dylan angle that I almost used and would have used if I weren't under pressure to get out to see the sunrise. On the topic of the rhyme, I wanted to rewrite a line or 2 from "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll."

Struck by a truck reminded me of "slain by a cane."

But some delicacy would be needed because Hattie Carroll was a human being, and the death of a cow is going to seem close to a joke. Actually "slain by a cane" sounds like a joke.

MadisonMan said...

The headline did contain the weasel words that I don't like: "....Authorities say"
Look -- either it happened or it didn't. Why are you relying on the Authorities to tell you?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm just going to leave this here:

Amazon executive, 50, was struck and killed by van ‘delivering Amazon packages’

And yes, I am an asshole

tim in vermont said...

I will go with "Cow Creamed by Milk Truck" as the winner and worthy of a New York Post headline.

But the best of her exhibit
Was a prayer machine from Tibet
That by brook power in the garden
Kept repeating Pardon, pardon;
And as picturesque machinery
Beat a sundial in the scenery —
The most primitive of engines
Mass producing with a vengeance.
- Robert Frost, An Importer

Maybe we could set up one of these prayer machines to pray for every animal hit on the highway, individually. This past week I saw a coy dog,(grey wolf hybrid, wasn't there for long,) a porcupine, several raccoons, a beaver, a couple squirrels, what might have been an otter, or maybe a fisher cat, and maybe three or four deer carcasses. It will be a full time job praying for all of them all.

Maybe we could go with another bit from Robert Frost:

And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.
- Out, Out

I do my very best not to hit animals, I study the ditches along the roadside as I am driving at night for the reflections of eyes, but that doesn't mean that I have to grieve for each one.

mikee said...

When you're reporting items from the police blotter, you go with what there is, not what you might wish there was. The story was stretched to five sentences, and fortunately was not accompanied by a photo from the scene of the accident.

I note that there is a picture of a 4-H student grooming her calf for showing lower on the same page, so I'd guess editorial oversight prevented a picture of the deceased bovine or vehicular damage from gracing the Journal's pages.

The Sunday Houston Chronicle, back in the day, almost always had a horrendous car crash story on the bottom of the front page, usually with color photographs, to enliven brunch reading.

Iman said...

Apologies to Jimmy Webb…

I am an asshole from El Paso
And I drive the mainline
Sniffin’ in the air for some fresh pies of the bovine
I hear you mooing in the distance
Then I drinks me some moar wine
And the Asshole from El Paso
Is still on the line

Paul A. Mapes said...

Just another slow news day. It's happening more often now that so much real news is not fit to print, as they say at the NY Times.

BG said...

I wanted to read the entire article, but the WSJ wanted me to subscribe first.
Time for internet search.
What I find strangely amazing is that the article showed up on Fox 13, Memphis, TN; K95.5 in Tulsa, OK; and Boston 25 News. (All by Cox Media Group National Content Desk using the same copy with the same photo of what may be a steer.)
Next up...BG's dog did bark at something for a lark, it was dark. /s

Tina Trent said...

Milk Truck Kills Cow doesn’t fulfill the purpose but it does make one want to read more.

Not everyone can write New York Post headlines. Or should.

cfkane1701 said...

I've never seen such dogged resistance to a harmless joke. Lighten up.

Bunkypotatohead said...

The chances of the cow dying in a traffic accident must be very tiny compared to all the other ways it might have died.