#METROBLOG: Click the Shiny headline for lolnews

Something’s occurred to me: I bash the print Metro a lot but since I’m a caveman luddite I should probably take a passing look at what most of the normal up to date commuters might be looking at if they have nothing better to do on their train ride: the Metro’s web strand.

I don’t know why anyone would look at the Metro’s online strand at all, let alone on their commute. I don’t think anyone voluntarily reads the Metro in print form, just picks up because there’s nothing else to do while sat upright in a moving vehicle for 30 minutes to an hour. And if you have a tablet with internet access on the train, chances are you’d be doing anything other than thumbing through webpages from a news source designed to be barely read by people with only a vague interest in it because guess what? The internet contains everything in the whole wide world ever! And its on tablets now! ….so why are you reading this and not ANYTHING ELSE?

Yeah the Metro’s online strands serves basically no purpose, I’d wager I’m the first person to ever click on their address, I feel like an archaeologist venturing into uncharted territory here…yeah of course I’m kidding but if you do read the metro online, ask yourself: why? You’ve got thousands of other choices of what to look at on your commute. The Metro is made and printed for one specific purpose where its free and there is no other available media so you think “well why not? and skim over the headlines and first sentence, whereas here….you’ve got every piece of other available media ever on a tablet, why would you do that?

So what I’m gonna do is look at the top 5 trending articles over my lunch break and see if we can build a rough guide to what you’ll typically see on the Metro’s web strand and see if we can figure out what makes it stand out over say Buzzfeed, Yahoo news and so on and whether a digital commuter paper is a concept that doesn’t collapse in on itself and merge into a quantum singularity.

Trending Articles at 12:28pm on Friday the 28th of February

metrotrendingUm…so yeah, what are you thinking print Metro strand? Ukraine updates? Some major terrorism incident in the middle east? No, man has sex with a goat BUT did ask first.

Yeah I think the purpose of this might be to gauge the sort of story they should pay the most attention to in the print edition the next day to see what their readers actually want to look at. Problem with that is the internet is kind of base in nature so if you do use it in that way, you’re basically picking up a channel 5 documentary in print at the station next day. EEEEERGH!! LOOK AT THIS GROSS FREAK!!! More on page 5!

I mean yahoo news and buzzfeed do similar stuff but since the Metro’s webstrand also do your bog standard internet tricks of eye catching words then maybe yeah its just another of those sites with shiny headlines you might click on. Is that a bad thing though because unlike print metro where a lot of the time interesting headlines are pot luck, here its at least eyebrow raising, its not boring. And yes you laugh at it, so trending articles of a base nature are a shortcut round the boring dross of the print edition. Despite the fact yes it sounds funny on the surface but if you actually look at this you might accidentally picture in your mind’s eye what this story is and its kind of….gross.

metrogoatYeah thanks for the cute picture of the goat with a wide angle lens coupled with a story about a man penetrating a goat with his penis Metro, that’s a mental image I want to muse on.

So yeah, the Metro’s online edition’s main appeal is exactly the same appeal as the rest of the internet: look at this slightly amusing news story for about five seconds, this headline has something weird in it, divert eyeballs here. I think the only tag for this article being “bizarre” definitely sums up the Metro online strand’s general appeal. There’s a student addicted to ketchup, that’s weird, goatsex, eeeergh!!! Gross!! Can you imagine?

Thing is though these stories don’t even have to be true, no one’s exactly going to phone the local authorities in Dutse to see if its true that some guy liked to have sex with goats. I think I’ve got the formula down now.

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Divert your eyeballs here viewers!

#METROBLOG: Dog eats a baby’s head: When your opinion doesn’t matter

It’s moralising time again! Yay! Stand up on your soap box and thought police us Stuart, you Poll Pott of tiny news stories. That’s definitely something we want to see on a satirical blog! Thank you, I will….yeah this really isn’t going to be a fun entry; I apologise in advance.

By giving this article that title I’m gonna have to play hypocrite here, but I don’t care as this morning’s issue of the Metro (along with much of my twitter feed last night,) really pissed me off and I’m only giving it that title and taking this stance because I want people to know what I’m talking about and understand just how INSANELY CREEPY THEY SOUND.

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Okay, so unless you’re unaware, this opinion page is related to the news story that broke either yesterday or the day before, can’t remember, that a mother left her six day old baby alone with their dog and the dog ate her baby’s head. Yes I agree, this is a horrifying story and the mother has my deepest sympathy. Also yes internet, you are correct, it should be common sense you do not leave a child alone, let alone with an animal, especially a baby, and a breed of dog that has been associated with violent incidents before. Whether or not you think the dog wouldn’t harm a fly, as dog’s don’t really understand what will and won’t be harmful to a baby because however much people talk up man’s best friend: dogs are kinda thick as pigshit.

Here’s the thing though: this new mother has just lost her six day old baby and now has the ENTIRE FUCKING COUNTRY talking about her failure to protect her baby. And most of those people are wagging their finger going “well let that be a lesson to you” and “well you only have yourself to blame.”

…………..I’m gonna have to steal an image to properly express my response to that.

Seriously: if opinion spouting and using the death of a six day old baby as some kind of warped parable is seen as the appropriate reaction among people and the media; then I don’t want to be a part of this fucked up species anymore. Anyone else out there who feels the same way and has that human capability I like to call “empathy”; let’s all get together and go ask NASA whether we can start a colony on the moon or something far away from the fucking psychopaths populating this planet.

Why am I pile of insecure neurosis about whether I fit in with modern society? Why do I worry so much about whether I’m a normal human being when this is what normal people are saying?

If you have said anything like this; I want you to do a little home experiment. I want you to go to your nearest mirror and say out loud: “I said that a new mother who just lost her six day old baby in a horrifying dog attack like something out of Cujo, should have known better and only has herself to blame.” If you can still look at yourself in the mirror after saying that, then please tell me so I can collate statistics as an indication of how fucked up this species is, and justify my wanting to leave this planet.

Did this mother ask for this? Did she see what had happened and immediately think: “oh my God! What could I have done wrong? Please, tell me internet and newspapers! Please endlessly repeat some dumb mantra about common sense that I was lacking today! I REALLY FUCKING NEED THIS AT THIS MOMENT IN MY LIFE FOR SOME RANDOM STRANGER TO TELL ME ITS MY FAULT MY CHILD IS DEAD!!! PLEASE TELL ME HOW WORTHLESS A PARENT I AM!!”

So yeah, if you’ve been offering the opinion about dangerous dog breeds and how one handles ownership of a dog, utilising this sad story to make a point about it barely 48 hours after it happened; I have some follow up advice: YOU ARE BEING CREEPY. And when I’m the one saying that; you’ve got a serious SERIOUS problem. Look at my website banner and remind yourself that I am the one telling you that you are being creepy.

Yes, it is important people aren’t lulled into a false sense of security around animals, but you’ve kinda added a second thing people should be feeling sympathy for for this poor woman and her baby about: the endless smug as all shit press coverage. Some stuff you will never know what it feels like unless it happens to you. Think before you offer an opinion on a subject that’s as sensitive as this where the people involved with the story are very real and have eyes and could easily be reading material like this. You are adding to that unbearable misery. Warning people not to leave their children alone with animals, yes is a good thing, but there’s a point where using this story to publicise common sense ends and adding insult to injury to a real person begins. Nothing can be helped now. Lecturing about this story is not gonna do anything, let these people mourn and discuss this issue in an unrelated way if you need to discuss it at all, which alright, maybe you do.

The problem is the media don’t seem to present the fact that people in its stories are actually real people all that well, they easily can become characters in a soap opera. Again though: THIS IS A REAL EVENT and using it to present an agenda 48 hours after it happened and some of the stuff people have been saying is sickening to me. Are you all gonna show up at the funeral and spit at the mother for not having common sense? Will you have made your point then? What use is this stating the obvious that you shouldn’t leave dogs alone with babies, now that her baby has had its head eaten by a dog, gonna do for these parents specifically? Did they ask for you to make that observation about their situation? Did anyone? Is there really any point in making that observation? Seriously, if anyone has made this point I recommend you look up the definition of this thing we call “critical thinking”, before offering opinions that no one fucking asked for about parents who’ve had to see their baby decapitated less than two days ago.

Next time: a fun subject with jokes and parody articles and everything like usual.

#METROBLOG: The Metro presents: Love Week

Well there’s only around 100 hours till Valentine’s Day 2014 so for some stupid reason the Metro decided “hey we’ve got something to talk about this week, let’s theme some features and articles around it! An excuse to talk bollocks about love and stuff!”

I love newspapers wittering on about what they think constitutes an intimate relationship because it is so unbelievably easy to take the piss. Mostly because literally every single journalist who ever attempts to offer an insight into relationships seems to have the mentality of a twelve year old girl whose only understanding of real world relationships comes from rom-coms. (Click to see full size)

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Thank you for taking time to waste people’s commutes by dictating to them a set of arbitrary rules of what constitutes an abnormal rocky relationship about to end that you gauged by watching a bunch of vapid over-exaggerated movies and sitcoms. That’s sure what I wanted to read on my commute, news about how if I’m doing any of these twenty five things, I’ve clearly stopped caring. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a paper read before 8AM should not be wagging a finger and telling you how to live your life. Especially since here I take a huge issue with what are perceived as societal norms of love that if you don’t conform to you’re not doing it right. YOU WILL FOLLOW SOCIETAL NORMS!! CONFORM TO SOCIETAL NORMS!!

Guess what the Metro? Some people are just different and don’t live their lives by romantic clichees to determine whether their relationship is succeeding or failing. If you’re using statistics to determine how well its going, that’s probably more unromantic than most of this list. Just how sexy is a mean average and a pie chart? Not very.

“Oh my God, how could you possibly not do some stuff people do in Friends and Love Actually and other pieces of media, clearly everyone should be doing these!” I’m guessing whoever wrote this has such a narrow mind they’d go “holy shit, you have a few separate hobbies and interests? But all couples should be genetically bonded together with surgery! Its just normal!”

Barely any of these given reasons your relationship is dying are actual reasons your relationship is dying cause if you’re doing these and then realise “shit apparantly this means my relationship is losing its spark, better hook my penis up to a car battery to get it back” its about as meaningful as that. Guess what whoever wrote this? This is what that list would look like if a normal human grown up was making it

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And that’s it.

Seriously did anyone reading this think “Hmm, well since the percentage of this list I conform to is above 30%, that means I must score a C- at relationships so it must be breakup time. Seriously if your partner intimidates you so you feel like you can’t be yourself around them then yes its time to break up and see other people cause if you think say this rule actually matters….why the hell do you want to be with them in the first place?

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…Clearly anyone that doesn’t wear a suit and tie to bed just doesn’t care anymore. Seriously who treats their relationship like a fucking job interview?

Also reasons 7 (you go to bed at different times) and 25 (eat at different times of the evening) are basically saying its impossible for you to hold together a relationship if one of you works varying shifts and sometimes night shifts when guess who your demographic is Metro? PEOPLE WHO WORK

Well, since some whiny journalist who’s watched the Notebook one too many times thinks literally everyone should do all of this crap if they want to be like supposed “proper people in relationships” and if they don’t do this stuff then they obviously don’t give a shit anymore, I’m gonna compile some more stuff that if you apply to any of these, you clearly can’t hold together a relationship. Let’s see if we can change romantic convention and make even more people feel small an inadequate, since that was clearly the goal here.  I’ll email it to the Metro and see if they’ll publish it as a sequel to this feature:

hey stupidface your relationship isnt normal
So yeah in short: it doesn’t matter what you think constitutes a normal relationship Metro writers. Believe it or not, some romantic clichees listed here don’t mean you have the sort of connection you need if your relationship’s gonna last and most people in long term relationships know this. Grown up life is rarely like a lovesong, its full of early mornings, commuting, work, feeling tired, barely getting time to actually think about what you’re doing and if you feel like your partner is judging you on top of that…well shit do you really think that’s a positive thing in a relationship? Get off your high horse and get back to reporting on how someone’s pet looks like a celebrity or something. You wanna preach about how societal conventions should be followed down to the T? Then jump ship to a national newspaper or get a column in a magazine. Pressuring people to follow a dumb set of guidelines as to what constitutes normal is not what this time of day is supposed to be about.