Sex on the Front Page of the Newspaper: How Headlines Attract Readers

Anyone who reads it, you know what I’m talking about. Since the bad weather dried up and they milked Margaret Thatcher’s funeral and the Boston bombings for all they were worth, recently Metro editors have decided the front page should be either court rulings about sex or studies about sex or just anything to do with Sex really.


Since you probably can’t see it (making my spending a whole ten seconds scanning it in in a desperate attempt to make this blog more visually interesting a complete waste of time) it’s about a study done saying more and more children as young as ten are either having sex or sending sexually explicit pictures of themselves or porn to classmates.

Now this article will provoke one of two reactions in most people.

REACTION#1: Oh my God that’s terrible, it’s because they’re teaching sex education to younger and younger children.

REACTION#2 (the more intelligent reaction): Oh my God, that’s terrible, it’s because sex is taught to children as biology (and not very well at that) and they are not being taught the emotional significance of it and just see it as something that makes you a grown up and if you do it you’ll be considered “cool”.

There is a third reaction though, which is my one:

REACTION#3: Why the hell does this need to be on the front page of a newspaper?

What went through Metro editors’ heads when they decided the front page, the most important page of a newspaper, should just be some random stuff about sex? Its been happening a lot lately, the issue surrounding sex depends on what day of the week it is. They did this the other day with some court ruling test subject about rape where they ruled technically failing to withdraw when you’d agreed to do so and getting a girl pregnant is technically classed as rape. Thanks for telling me but I didn’t need to know this or be given the mental image of someone failing to withdraw. I couldn’t find a copy of it to scan in but I don’t need to because my only question is why am I meant to care? Its the front page, is there not that much important stuff is happening? I mean you can do an experiment with this morning’s Metro if this front page sex thing isn’t your bag, tear the front page off and now the most important story of the day is a man who made the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle has accidentally broken it.


Aww, it’s so cute you think that’s an important story Metro editors…. okay, you see what I’m getting at yet at about The Metro ought to be printing fluffy light hearted articles for the 7AM crowd? That’s what we want when we’ve had barely any sleep and are drowning ourselves in coffee, nothing serious, just a nice man doing a jigsaw and oh crumbs, it fell to pieces.

The thinking is that a newspaper going on about sex will get people to buy their papers and if it’s prominently displayed, then you’ll have a subconscious emotional reaction that will draw your eyes to that particular word. Watch:


There, because I printed the word sex in a large size font, your eyes were immediately drawn to it for at least six seconds while you were thinking about not just the word sex but what you connect to that word. If I could see out of this website and watch you reading this then I would have timed how long it took you to move onto this paragraph and it probably would be longer than you’d think. Printing the word sex or words associated with sex immediately catches people’s eyes. Whereas if I did the same thing with something else like say:


You don’t care nearly as much and just absorbed that I printed the word carpets in a large font immediately. Why have you done that Stuart? Why have you printed the word carpets in a massive font? It does not incite any degree of thought in me. To prove a point, that’s why. The word sex caught your eye, the word carpets just made you think “…yep, that’s the word carpets”

Although your reaction to my printing the word sex in a large eye catching headline does change based on what you put next to it. Eg.


Now you’re thinking “Oh my God, how terrible, children and sex, two things that shouldn’t go together, it’s wrong!” You’re not thinking about what I’m writing though because I haven’t attached a context to it or given a reason to get emotionally invested. It’s just a general sense of what you associate with those two words, which are just words. It’s an emotional trick to get you reading the paragraphs that follow, you have no connection with what’s being written, its not a story. The only extent to which I care about the issue of younger and younger children having such an immature attitude to sex is my offering the opinion that it’s because they aren’t taught sex in the right way not that its being taught at all like some people think, all I can do is offer that opinion as I don’t have any focal point on this issue, its just a vague study, a set of statistics, no concrete story, by what I’ve been given it might as well be a fairytale. The point is, telling us this on THE FRONT PAGE doesn’t make things any better, the front page is meant to be the most important one. The front page should be the biggest issue of the day that people are meant to care about, not a general set of nonspecific things that we can’t do anything about and is just kind of hopeless and there to make us go “oh how terrible”.

The Metro editors are only doing this because they think they have to conform to the rule that sex sells because they want people to pick up their paper. What they fail to understand is since the Metro is free; it doesn’t have to be this monumentally tedious and base. They aren’t trying to profit here, they can publish anything they want and we’ll still read it. They don’t have to put this on page one, print something that actually makes us think, not just to provoke a random opinion. If it’s a no news day, give us a dog that’s learnt to do backflips, a new species of flatfish has been discovered, we are trapped on a train for an hour, remind us that the world outside is at least still interesting.

Really though, if The Metro think they have to lower themselves to the level of general pay 10p per tabloid fare when they’re actually in a position where they don’t need to pander to people’s genitalia like this, you might as well replace every other word of the front page with something sexual if all you want is people to subconsciously look at your paper for an extra six seconds.


LAWYER’S NOTE: The legal department of has been legally obliged to acknowledge that the photograph in the above parody article is completely unrelated to the article it accompanies.

ZoneOneRadio – #ZoneOneDigest – Gin and Driving: It Doesn’t Mix @z1radio

Stuart Hardy presents #ZoneOneDigest – ZoneOneRadio’s weekly “Best of..” show.

Download from from itunes – – or listen online…

ZoneOneRadio – #ZoneOneDigest – Gin and Driving: It doesn’t Mix by Stuarthardy on Mixcloud

Please be advised – a combination of our first two features on the best of ZoneOneRadio this week: Gin and cars, can lead to death and legal penalties. So stay safe and listen to us instead of doing something stupid.

On Zone one Digest – a furry faced emotionally stunted man presents the best of the week – we’ve got:

#InGoodTaste with Tom Du Croz and Vicky Ferran go to Ian Hart’s distillery where they make the award winning Sacred Gin

#LondonGP with Matthew Layton as he goes to an Aston Martin factory – and he gets too excited and is made to sit on the naughty step until he calms down and starts behaving

#Generation3 presents the best new Urban sounds with Empress Susan Vickers and radio youngster James Levett

And #IntoTheMix talk about what remixing’s all about with number 1 Australian artist Flume and

An Illustrated Review of Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 13

You thought Lord of the Rings had a million endings? This book literally has an ending in the exact middle of the book. Seriously the end of this chapter just ends this right the fuck out of nowhere…what the hell’s in the rest of this book?

Chopin – Prelude Op. 28 no.4 in E Minor (Apparantly copyright EMI)
Fifty Shades of Grey’s Plot characters and shit – E.L.James (Random House)
The Shining Music is owned by Warner Bros
That picture from Twilight owned by Summit Entertainment
Exorcist Theme – Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield (Mercury)

ZoneOneRadio – #ZoneOneDigest – That’s All Faulks! @z1radio


This is ZoneOneDigest, the best of the week on ZoneOneRadio, the mayor of london funded community radio station for Central London. Its presented by a snarky hobgoblin called Stuart Hardy, who this week was submerged in formal complaints and ofcom forms throughout the show. While he deals with them, you get to listen to:
#LondonLife bring a special interview with Sebastian Faulks about Cityread London

#LondonGP chat about sponsorship in Motorsport with Samuel Cork from Gulf Oil

#WorldwideRoutes host David Bailey continues to prove how much better he is than the rest of us at hosting radio shows

And #InGoodTaste talk to Two Hungry Girls, auteurs of innovative Chinese supper clubs around London

Enjoy! and

An Illustrated Review of Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 12

In this chapter, there is some more kinky sex poorly rendered in stickmen drawings by me. We also get more literary references trying to make out this shit is deep and meaningful and I ask why Ana hasn’t got the obvious literary reference to what’s happening in her life yet: that being Faust

The Nightmare on Elm Street Theme (New Line Cinema)
Pure Fucking Armageddon (live) – Mayhem (Deathlike Silence)
Let’s Get it on – Marvin Gaye (Mercury)
Clip of Bill Hicks from Relentless (Rykodisc)
Clip of South Park episode “my Future self and me” (Comedy Central)
A clip from the Simpsons (Fox)
The Best of Friends from The Fox and The Hound (Disney)

An Illustrated Review of Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer

Every once in a while, a pop culture phenomenon surfaces that makes the dwarfs the last by comparison in vapid stupidity. This one is called Fifty Shades of Grey, a book about a girl taken in by an older man who offers her a contract saying she will be his willing submissive sex slave, a few heavy handed metaphors about the power hormones have over women, prententious references to Tess of the D’urbevilles and other stuff and you’ve got yourself a best-seller that’s taken seriously by the mooing masses and we’re told its meaningful for the zeitgeist.

That’s where I come in. I’m currently in the process of making a chapter by chapter review of the book, dismantling the plot, dialogue, barely present characterisation and tearing to pieces the idea this is anything other than just another bit of porn. The story poorly animted with stick people, a torture porn parody side plot concerning a possessed copy of the book and we get a 26 part indictment of one of the most baffling pop culture phenomena in the history of mankind. Join me, will you?

Fifty Shades of Grey was written by E.L. James and is published by Random House. Its also fucking shit.
I Touch Myself by The Divinyls is on Virgin Records and not owned by me
All images not drawn by me are owned by owners

Margaret Thatcher: Mecha-Cyborg: New movie biopic coming 2014

In this morning’s edition of the Metro there was a story about a psychotic pheasant called Phil who keeps attacking a family somewhere in the countryside:

Phil the pheasant

I only bring this up because it’s literally the only light hearted funny story I’ve seen in the papers recently. And it’s not even that funny…well that picture is, but seriously the news has been a depressing mess these last couple of weeks. Boston marathon explosions, threats from North Korea, and of course the death of an 87 year old ex-Prime Minister, its all been the same every single sodding day of the week. Its all been very depressing and very repetitive, the Thatcher stuff especially so.

The backwash of Thatcher tributes have been going on ever since she popped her clogs and has only really been exacerbated by the parties some people have held in the wake of her death making Tories think it’s justified the government spend 10 fucking million quid on a STATE FUNDED funeral. Okay I was on the fence about it and busy not caring about Thatcher’s death, neither a worshiper nor a vulture, but this is the precise reason why there should be mass uprising everywhere calling for resignation of this shambles of a government this very second. Thousands unemployed and we all have to tighten our belts do we Dave? Is that what we have to do?

How about we privatize her funeral? If you’re offering a tribute to Thatcher at least keep in line with her political ideologies. I would much rather my income tax go to helping some poor working class family whose parents have lost their jobs in the recession now on welfare to help them get by than spending…TEN MILLION on a funeral for, like it or not, a very controversial figure in British political history. She was a politician, she wasn’t Jesus.

So yes, this is me coming out and saying: I am a vulture now. In the current economic environment, if the government can’t afford to have principles and are allowed to contradict themselves when someone they admire dies and a lot of taxpayers hate who have no choice but to fund a ten million pound funeral, then I can’t afford to have principles either, so let’s bleed this corpse dry.

Now that Mags is dead, there always has be a biopic to cash in on the post-death blubbering and media attention over a famous person, so that’s my bandwagon. Problem is there’s already several billion Thatcher biopics already. We’ve had Thatcher when she was a kid, Thatcher during the Falklands, leading up to her election, the pit closures, the poll tax riots and when she was haunted by the ghost of her late husband (Seriously go watch The Iron Lady, I am not shitting you – THIS MOVIE WON AN OSCAR!)

Literally the only thing that hasn’t been done with Thatcher is take her nickname “The Iron Lady” to the most ridiculous of logical extremes and make her into a cyborg monster from outer space….well I’m always up for a challenge.

Here’s the first scene, I’ve done some accompanying storyboard sketches to help everyone visualise what this movie might turn into.

I’ll start a kickstarter once I’ve got my marketing together, you contribute to it, I’ll cobble your ideas into the developed script and we’ll take this to a production company and try and get this off the ground. In the mean time, feel free to offer your ideas in the comments section, let’s get this movie made so we can leech off her death asap.

thatcher poster


First Draft

By Stuart Hardy



Margaret stands on the patio before the sprawling field on Downing Street’s garden. She stares into the sunset reflecting on recent events. We hear vague echoing sounds of rioting whistle on the wind.


Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson joins her on the patio.

NIGEL: My Lady, the cabinet meeting is about to commence

MARGARET: I don’t think it is Lawson

NIGEL: But Margaret-

MARGARET: I would like a few more moments Lawson

NIGEL: Are you alright Margaret?

MARGARET: No. I spoke to the sphere last night and he…he told me I shan’t be in office much longer


NIGEL: Oh, what does the Sphere know?

MARGARET: It told me I was to rule this land for a Millenia, but now its changed its mind, all because of….him

NIGEL: You refer to this Scargill

MARGARET: Yes, and his armies of the planet Zog, damn their eyes

NIGEL: My lady, what if the sphere is wrong?

MARGARET *SIGHS*: Sphere! Come to me!

A blue light flies from the sky and crashes to Earth. The impact in the garden causes a crater the size of a small car. The sphere arises. It is metallic in colour, but its surface writhes and ripples indicating  it is flesh.

MARGARET: Repeat last night’s prophecy.

The surface of the sphere begins to pull back and a holographic image tinted orange shoots out. It speaks in a robotic drone.

SPHERE: The leader of Pterodactyl armies from the planet Zog, Arthur Scargill has taken control of the miners, an uprising will occur and put disdain on the marching rule of the Mistress.


MARGARET: You see Lawson.

SPHERE: The cabinet must combine their energies with the mistress to avert the prophecy

NIGEL: What? What does that mean? My Lady this is most disturbing.

MARGARET: The sphere must be obeyed Chancellor, you of all people should know that.

The sphere deactivates and rests on the ground.

NIGEL: The cabinet won’t stand for this Margaret!

MARGARET: Silence Nigel, nothing will stop the glorious reign of the Iron Lady!

Margaret grabs his neck. Lawson struggles as she holds him up two feet in the air, her grip tightening.


Margaret opens her mouth and out comes a robtotic forked lizard tongue. She hisses and the tongue lashes forward and clamps over his face.


MARGARET *HISSES*: all hail the Iron Lady

The tongue pierces his face and drains blue electrical energy through it and into Margaret. His body falls to the floor in a puddle of blood. The energy envelops Margaret and her facial skin peels away to reveal a robot head with glowing red eyes and metal fangs. She grows twice her height, sprouts robot wings and flies into the sky.


We pan down over the bloody corpse of Nigel Lawson as some serious epic music plays and fade out.



So you see what I’m going for. I think I’ve probably painted too much of a negative picture of our Iron Lady though. I’m thinking about making Dennis a bit of a sympathetic character and having his reaction to her and her cabinet being like this. Pretty much stated in an alternate tagline:

“I can’t love you Dennis, for you see, I’m a cyborg from another dimension”

So yeah. All idea submissions welcome and kickstarter page coming soon!

Zone One Radio: #ZoneOneDigest: The Steamiest Show on Earth

Stuart Hardy presents #ZoneOneDigest – the best of ZoneOneRadio – the Mayor of London-funded community radio station for Central London.

#InGoodTaste – our food show – cooked something called Kuntfisch… yes its actually called that

An introduction to #LondonGigGuide with up and coming small bands around London, this week: The Broxton Hundred

#IntoTheMix chat to remixer Deceptikon

ZoneOneRadio transatlantic interns Candace and Erin comes #UsInTheUK – a show about American Ex-pats living in the UK. Candance talks to Julie Falconer, a London based consultant and award-winning travel writer originally from San Francisco. and


An Illustrated Review of Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter: 11

In this chapter, we get the full contract laid out to us (expect lots of explicit illustrations) Also Christian buys Ana one of them new fangled computater things the kids have nowadays.

tubular bells by mike oldfield (mercury)
theme from The Shining (warner bros)
Theme from a Nightmare on Elm street (New Line Cinema)
Left Bank Two (The Noveltones)

North Korea: A Picture can undermine a thousand words

Unless you’ve been on Mars the past few months, you’ll have heard some of the crazy shit that Kim Jong-Un, supreme leader of North Korea has been spouting. You’ll also know that no one’s really been taking any of it seriously. They probably aren’t because allegedly there’s no way of North Korean missiles reaching their Western targets and North Korea are now sort of being viewed as a bunch of lovable rapscallions with all bark but no bite. I imagine the west tousling Kim Jong-Un’s hair and going “dahhh, of course you’re gonna take us on with your little missiles one day, aren’t ya?”

At the same time though, this morning’s Metro article about it kind of floored me.

….okay, does that picture remind anyone else of this? :

…Seriously, a nuclear threat, actually legitimate or not, that picture doesn’t really deserve the “NUCLEAR WAR!!! WE MIGHT ALL GEE FUCKING KILLED” headline next to it. That picture makes me think this is what the article should have been about:

north korea

I mean, maybe the Metro editors have actually stumbled across my blog calling for a realisation that at 7 in the morning, digesting horrible news is a bit tricky, so we’ll use the silliest most light hearted picture we can find for horrible news like nuclear threat from North Korea. Still though if we’re taking the logic that horrible news like this should be accompanied by a silly looking nonthreatening image, where does it end?


Although props to The Metro for publishing an article about something inconsequential written in an all too serious tone, really, this one is like my parody articles but real:


….shit, who cares about North Korea? Fuck that, its the rogue sheep I’m worried about. How many more needless deaths will occur? Sheep will riot in the streets!

He’s watching ewe!