Crowning achievement beats out rival nominees "Useless Romantic Advice" and "Inedible Fiber Recipes."
CONSORTIUM of national and regional newspapers bestowed one of their highest honors last evening to Insipid Health Advice in the competitive Greatest Column Filler award for 2009. This is the subject's fifth nomination and first win in the category. Insipid Health Advice has previously won for Most Misleading Column in 2007.
Accepting the award, freelance health columnist Karen Clark said, "I speak on behalf of all health writers around the U.S. when I say how truly thrilled and honored we are to know that our work is finally being recognized for its complete insipidness. Or insipidity, I'll have to look that one up."
The coveted award is meant to honor newspaper columns "that manage to fill a 600 to 1500-word column without saying anything readers haven't heard in some other column hundreds of times before. Our winner should make readers feel initially hopeful of getting some valuable information out of an advice column with a provocative title, but then come to realize that it's all the same rehash, and, finally, ask themselves why they even bothered."
Ms. Clark stated at the award winners' press interview that "health writers have worked tirelessly over the last year to produce a body of work deserving of the nomination. We knew we had something with 'eat balanced meals, get enough rest, and drink plenty of water,' but we were in the company of some great co-nominees," referring to rivals Useless Romantic Advice and Inedible Fiber Recipes.
"Believe me," said Ms. Clark, "I've tried those fiber recipes, and they are completely inedible! So hats off to them, and to Useless Romantic Advice. I'm single, by the way, and those filler columns on love are one good reason why. I haven't learned a blessed thing about romance!"
One juror, who asked to remain anonymous "so I can get paid to do this again next year," said that she was impressed with 2009's "virtually vapid actual content in the area of health, considering how naturally rich the topic is.
"It's not easy to start on a specific health issue like AIDS or cancer and boil it down every time to eating right and reducing stress in your life," noted the juror. "What complete and utter filler nonsense. Kudos!"
© 11.06.09 Kate Heidel