So this morning I actually actively picked up a copy of the Metro. I didn’t just absent-mindedly grab it from someone’s seat on the Tube and start flicking through, no , I actually picked it up from the stack they have in the station. I opened it to a random page because the pages were stuck together. I arrive at this image.
gahh! Fuck! What the hell? If you can’t read it, because I’ve scanned it really tiny because I think there’s less chance I’ll get sued for copyright, its some piece about a spider crab that was rescued from being steamed as some freak’s dinner and is now in an aquarium or something….
Yeah I know, I don’t care either. Why? Because aside from freaks that actually keep pet tarantulas (seriously, people that do own tarantulas ought to be locked up without evidence, having a pet tarantula should be indication enough that you’re clearly a psychopath. Better now than before it’s too late… off topic) But yeah, who wants a whopping great picture of a spider crab waving itself in their faces at seven AM?
I’m not the type to complain with regards to taste. I am one of the people who says when people complain to Ofcom about tasteless programming “well watch something else then”, it is the same in this situation. “Well don’t read the Metro then Stuart”. However I’m complaining about this because its an instance of The Metro editors really not understanding their target audience.
The News is bleak. We know this. Watch any rolling news channel for long enough and you will want to cry until your body can’t produce tears anyone and has to use surplus piss and semen your body has leftover as moisture.
“HE KILLED EIGHTY SIX PEOPLE BEFORE SHOOTING HIMSELF” “WOMAN OF 23 WAS GANG RAPED ON HOLIDAY” “KILLER TERMITES NESTED IN ATTIC FOR YEARS, KILLED 8 CHILDREN” and stuff like that. By definition a newspaper has to include important stuff like this, but at seven in the morning, you need to talk down to people and get them feeling calm and relaxed and ready for work. When you’ve just woken up you can barely comprehend words that have more than one syllable. Morning Newspapers shouldn’t really be Newspapers, they should be visual hugs that make you feel like the day will actually be okay for a change. Appropriate reading material for the train should include Noddy and Spot the Dog but we’re all too embarrassed to admit that that’s what we’d prefer to be reading on our way to work.
A morning newspaper has to cater for grumpy people who’ve just woken up and have trouble digesting information on top of especially creepy crawly images like this one. It’s a common problem with The Metro; it seems to think people are interested in these things at seven AM. A couple of weeks ago there was a story about a drunk student who stir fried his roommate’s hamster, not content to chill sleepy grumpy bastards with something like that, they actually had a picture of the poor little squished hamster in the frying pan. You don’t do this to tired grumpy people about to go to work, you just don’t fucking do it. Midday maybe, after seven is fine, weekends are okay but not when you’re the only free available reading material there to comfort tired people about to go to work.
The ideal morning newspaper for depressed miserable commuters would include the obvious big news, the budget, death, politics etc because that’s what a newspaper is for, but ideally a morning newspaper would be peppered with about six or seven articles like this:
There, congrats, you’ve just made a miserable office worker feel a bit nicer on his way to work by thinking about cute little puppies. I mean obviously actual journalists would be more creative than this, this is just an example.
The Metro does do this occasionally and publishes cutesy nice stuff. In the next page after the Spider Crab thing they had this picture of a cute little hamster that got stuck in a pipe or something:
D’aww, just look at his lickle face d’aww…
But what I’m saying is to market well to your chosen demographic: tired grumpy commuters, what you really should be doing is filtering out anything that will make them feel more alone and miserable and make their skin crawl, and say change your name to “The Everything’s Alright” and publish a daily newspaper consisting of nice bits of news instead. I guarantee you will get much more respect from commuters in the long run. A lady somewhere is organizing a bake sale for the Girl Guides, a blind kid has been given a Seeing Eye dog for his birthday, stuff like that.
Not this Spider Crab shit cause I’ve no idea who the hell wants that on their way to work.