Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hyperbole Beats Its Ruddy Breast Savagely

Cryptomundo, via Jerome Clark, unearths an interesting (if terribly overwrought) tale of what some believe to be an early Bigfoot sighting. The incident took place in northern California in 1891. You can read the purple prose better here.

Details like the charnal house-like cave in which it lived and how the creature beats its gore-splattered chest read like titilating Victoriana, Gothic horror masquerading as journalism. It was a common theme throughout what was termed "Yellow Journalism", an intense newspaper rivalry that manifested fantastic (and often untrue) tales in hopes of gaining the most readers. In many ways, it was not all that dissimilar to how the media frenzy these days has resulted in sensational headlines, manipulative rhetoric, opinion as fact, and the rush to report stories before all the information has been gathered. 

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