Most days I flick through the papers – online though because I am internet savvy and incredibly tight – and when I’m done I am almost inevitably more disappointed than when I began.
Among the occasional small victories ‘Boy saves epileptic father from burning house’, ‘Bird and cat are now best friends’ etc, is the usual sprawl of indiscriminate violence and hatred (and I don’t even read the Daily Mail). Over time we have all gradually desensitized to the media’s shock headlines in order to avoid becoming a nation of complete basket cases, or worse, ‘annoying do-gooders’. So, to make my trudge through the pages of misery and despair less cripplingly dispiriting, I find articles that I can draw humour from. They are very easy to come across – which isn’t surprising considering the volume of top class buffoonery on offer from world leaders right down to Joe the plumber – and they serve to highlight the abounding absurdity of the world we live in.
Today I have selected a few articles from three respectable newspapers, which draw comedy from idiotic research, a stupid comment, bad sub-editing skills and an alarmingly short-sighted stab at career guidance.
Headline (timesonline.co.uk): Revealed: why the wobbly bridge wobbled
The mysterious wobble of the Millennium Bridge which caused the £18.2m “blade of light” to sway dangerously was caused by the tiny foot adjustments people make to keep their balance, a scientist believes.
That’s reassuring to find out. Rather than close it down and spend a further £5 million correcting it, they could have just erected a sign at the front telling people to make no attempt whatsoever to keep their balance and instead fall with dignity into the Thames. Of course that then undermines the entire point of it being marketed as ‘a bridge’, rather than ‘a drowning device’. It cost £18.2 million to build, looked about as safe as the rope bridge from I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and was pompously named the ‘blade of light’, which ironically turned out to be a more of an apt name than first imagined, because after all, it’s effectiveness as a device for traversing a large river would have been similar to that of an actual blade of light. And people are still assessing why we are in a recession.
Headline (guardian.co.uk): Cheney: I think we did pretty well
Dick Cheney proves what a dick he really is (that would have been my headline). I’d hate to work with him. Not only because he’s clearly a blithering idiot, but also because, to sum up an eight year catalogue of fuck ups as “we did pretty well”, shows that he must have the lowest standards of anybody, ever. He probably can’t even be bothered to walk to the toilet at work, deciding instead that shitting in his desk drawer and wiping his arse with his suit sleeve is a job done “pretty well”.
Damn right! No one, not even a small child should be made to live in a suitcase!
This actually turned out to be a very sad article about an overburdened carer and her neglected son, which unfortunately led with a terribly misleading headline.
Headline (independent.co.uk): Ethical hacking course launched
Course offers members of the public chance to learn professional computer hacker skills at home.
What is the best outcome they think will come from running that course? Perhaps next on the list for implementation is the ‘Ethical bomb making course’, to help those keen on terror, but without the experience to carry it out. A brilliant example to help launch the course would be the case of those two rubbish NHS doctors that the BBC hilariously summed up on News at Ten with the statement: “Their ambition to kill was thwarted by their poor bomb making skills”. I’d stick that on the front cover of the course pack!