METROBLOG: TV spoilers in Newspapers: No it is not okay and here is why

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….see Metro editors, was writing that sentence really that hard?

No seriously, if you’ve invested any emotional involvement in Game of Thrones and haven’t seen the latest episode yet, look away now.

I’m not kidding, major spoiler in the below picture taken from inside the front cover on page 3 of the metro today taking up not just an off handed tiny paragraph article about frivilous entertainment, FULL FUCKING PAGE

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…..gee, thanks for that Metro writers. I didn’t have time to watch the new episode anyway, so I guess it’s just as well that you’ve told me what happens and all the characters that die so I don’t even have to bother. Well done Metro writers for making me seriously stop caring about a show I liked……urgh.

Seriously, the idea of “SPOILER WARNING” has become kind of a pre-requisite when talking about a twist in a movie or a book or something so why the hell did this not occur to the writers when going “hmm, a massive plot twist has been provoking strong reactions from fans, let’s put it on the fucking inside cover in massive font with pictures”.

I mean the Metro have an online presence, surely they’re familiar with the concept of a Spoiler warning. If you reveal a twist and someone had yet to watch the thing with the twist without going “oh yeah spoiler warning”, people are going to grill you alive for it, this is about as obvious as two plus two equals four and that Michael Gove has a face like a squished pumpkin. The fact it was so massive and obvious and you can’t avoid it…it can’t have been an accident. So I refuse to believe publishing a massive article like this was a mistake and they didn’t think people who hadn’t had the chance to watch it yet would have it spoiled for them. Publishing the words “THREE CHARACTERS KILLED OFF IN BRUTAL TWIST” next to a picture of Catelyn with a knife at her throat stood next to Robb…there is no way that was an accident. Seriously was I supposed to just look away the second I reached page 2 and realized it was about Game of Thrones and revealing a massive twist when I hadn’t got to that bit in the series yet?

No. This was an antagonistic move. It must have been. There is no chance it wasn’t. This article is pretty much this:

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Well, the intention might not have been that word for word, but it feels like that.

The Metro have actually published an article related to this, it says it was published yesterday so it must have been written as this editorial decision was made so yes, their intention was to ruin it for people because hell, was it utterly necessary this ran in a massive eye catching article on page 3 where you can’t avoid it if you happen to want to?

http://metro.co.uk/2013/06/04/after-game-of-thrones-red-wedding-when-is-a-spoiler-a-spoiler-3828216/

The gist of the justification for this is, if you care about a series enough to avoid spoilers you should have been up to date with it and anyway and besides, in an online age, you’re just one click away from a spoiler so if you don’t know about it and are pissed off, pftt, sucks to be you NERNERNERNER!!!! Seriously what twats.

I’m okay with papers going “oh my God did you see Game of Thrones last night?” Its a watercooler talking point yes and its okay to discuss it in a newspaper but….well yeah, this is a newspaper…its supposed to, y’know, talk about important things….especially right at the front in a massive headline. If this was in a small article in the entertainment section where its easily avoidable if you want to avoid it then fine but LOOK!!! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS!! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET THEN YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY AN IDIOT!!

Yes, if you’re invested, you should be up to date…in principle, but that demands the concept that people who are invested don’t have…um….FUCKING LIVES? I get barely enough time to sit down and have a cup of tea over the week as it is, let alone sit in front of Game of Thrones for an hour, I’m surprised I’m as far through it as I am. “oh you’re gonna run into spoilers anyway” yes I see your argument but that doesn’t mean you should fucking provoke it by out and out shouting “LOOK AT THE DEAD CHARACTERS!!” you don’t NEED to publish this in this place in the paper, it is not vital you publish it here even if your vapid excuse that everyone who cares will have already seen it did hold water, because it doesn’t. This aired a couple of days ago, there is no fucking excuse for this.

This was an ambush. How the fuck was I supposed to know that a major spoiler for Game of Thrones would be right there in my morning paper you stupid pricks?

In a perfect world, the amount of complaints that the Metro should rightfully get over this, tomorrow their page three article should look like this

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I mean yeah I’m going to keep reading the Metro to write my stupid blog about it but seriously, this was not okay and…actually no I’m not backing down on this one, they should publish an article just as big tomorrow saying “WE ARE VERY SORRY”.

And you may say I’m overreacting because hell, the book’s been out since 2000 and I’m doing the lazy thing watching the series first. I am reading the books though, I’ve finished watching season 2 and saving season 3 till I’ve at least finished the second book (of which I’m about a quarter of the way through at time of writing). I’m just catching up and so are lot’s of people and this wasn’t fair.

Alright, I will admit that I am culpable for spoiling stuff in the past. I have openly mocked people with spoilers for the Harry Potter films because believe it or not some people were actually watching the films without having read the books. I did that because the Harry Potter books are easy reads, you can get through all of them in about two weeks, it took me a weekend to read the seventh one. It just boggled my mind that people could be so lazy as to not bother with the books but bother with the films when without the books, the films are really kind of weak. Game of Thrones is a different matter as for one thing both books and series are equally strong, and Game of Thrones doesn’t have the appeal or similar audience as Harry Potter and is mostly growing in popularity recently because of the TV series and spoiling it like this….seriously, who the hell decided this was a good idea?

Its not as though they thought “oh yeah, everyone invested in Game of Thrones at the moment will know that Catelyn and Robb die” because this twist isn’t well known or famous like some twists are. Some twists are famous for being well known and spoiled, like say the ending of Planet of the Apes….the twists’s kind of right there on the poster.

Hmm…I wonder what planet this Planet of the Apes might be?

And yes, I get the argument that when does it stop becoming a spoiler as noted in this article of stupid base crass generalizations. How long should you leave it? Should I be annoyed if someone spoils say the end of the Sopranos, a series from years ago, that you haven’t got to yet? The article says no…it doesn’t offer any concrete reason for saying no but I on the other hand say that if someone was midway through a series boxset and didn’t want to know the end then I’d probably show some common fucking courtesy if people still haven’t got to it yet and keep quiet about it to them. Its not about “if you’re invested you’d have seen it already” its about being fucking polite.

Yes I would put a timestamp on it. If something like Planet of the Apes has such a famous twist and has been out for nearly half a century, its okay. If something came out the other day and you’re ambushing people with it on their way to work; that’s what makes you a dick. Fuck you whoever decided this was a good idea and fuck you for this pathetic justification for it. This article was just going “NERNER!! You haven’t got there yet slowpoke!”

Eat a bag of dicks you dicks.

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The Morning News: Spidercrabs, anyone?

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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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If anyone out there has been unfortunate enough to run into me between 8:24 and 9:16 between Monday and Friday (my morning commute to work); you will have noticed I’m rather distant and moody. I’m usually sat with a book in my hands while listening to obscure Norwegian bands I claim you’re just too ignorant for. Or I’m sat with a copy of “The Metro” (The free newspaper available in railways stations in and around London) mumbling the word “bastards” at regular intervals.

The Metro proclaims loudly on the cover that it is “The World’s Most Popular Free Newspaper” …you do know that’s not something to be proud of, right? That’s like saying “Try having a head cold, its ten times more popular than a sore throat”. It’s a meaningless phrase for the simple reason that your audience is trapped. It’s the same reason why I really don’t understand why First Capital Connect have a marketing department, there is no point in marketing something people have no alternative to. You’ve kind of already guaranteed yourself customers just by being there. I know the Metro is a different thing entirely since whether or not I read it is based on choice whereas First Capital Connect are directly profiting from people with no choice how they travel. Yet at the same time reading it feels compulsive.

The commute into London is grinding misery and I don’t know why I read the Metro and I guarantee that neither does anyone that picks one up. It’s just there to give your eyes something to look at because at that time of the morning you have the brain capacity of a five year old. It’s the newspaper equivalent of a can of Pepsi. No one really likes it but if there’s nothing else available you just think: “Ah screw it; it’s there, it’s more interesting than water, might as well have it”. It’s the same with the Metro, it’s there, it’s better than just sitting here breathing in and breathing out for between twenty minutes and an hour depending on how much the train operators can be arsed to do their jobs properly.

So this blog is basically going to be my thoughts after reading the Metro. It won’t be a daily thing as I neither have the time nor energy. This blog may be news related topics, general hate towards the Metro’s style of news reporting, as based on all the paper’s I’ve read, it’s definitely in the lower middle class of tabloid bracket. It’s the Daily Mail of bland placid eye fodder designed for miserable commuters. One step up from The Sun; it’s nothing to be proud of yet there they are, every morning, the tubes are littered with them. Then again, I don’t see much difference between the Metro and the Sun. Tits or articles about boring people I don’t care about and pictures of people’s pets, they’re both just “something to look at for a bit”. Hopefully it’ll coerce me into coming out with something insightful or witty. Only time will tell.

Also in terms of qualifying my bastardised opinion on the free London rag, I present my evidence in case they want to sue me for slander:

Can’t remember when, a couple of weeks ago, they published on the inside of their front cover their quote of the day. It is the single dumbest thing I have ever read in a newspaper.

“I’m not worried about North Korea, Nuclear weapons are so old school” – Will.i.am, Record producer and Musician

……………..that quote is the new definition of the word facepalm.