Most of you will have realised that I get the vast majority of my newsing from free London rag The Metro, distributed around the Underground every morning in order to allow bleary-eyed businessmen to further realise that the world is falling gracelessly towards the sun. I don’t think the Metro is a bad little paper, really; the quality of writing is generally good, and it catches stories earlier than other papers you might come across in the day. And you’ll find articles of comparable quality on the same subjects in “real” newspapers.
However, you develop an unfair bias of a newspaper when you peruse it mainly to find new nonsense to write about in your blog. You ignore all rational articles about politics\current affairs\crossbows to the face and concentrate only on articles that guarantee a spout of vitriol frothy enough to incur a transparent sense of self-righteousness. And as a result, your perception is that the chosen paper exists only to print stories about religion, druids and the supernatural. Unfair, since the Metro regularly dishes out reasonably informative articles about modern science and astronomy.
My last fodder was about druids fixing roads, and it’s hard to have sympathy for a publication that will indulge itself with such asinine balls. But almost the next day, indeed it could have been the next day, the Metro printed this. Our very own Phil Plait, who I have happily if briefly met (and who disillusioned me slightly by expressing a certain reserve for District 9, damn it Phil when will you see that guys in alien power armour are the next Casablanca) blogged about a photo of a lunar rock that had rolled into a crater. The Metro picked this up and wrote the small piece to which I just linked.
They could have taken Phil’s approach, which was “OMFG space is awesome and beautiful”. And they sort of did. But they also titled the article “Proof that golf-playing God shot a hole-in-one on the Moon?”
Why, why would you do this? What manner of journalist would take a story about a lunar event of some rarity and make it into terrifyingly inept pun-based pseudoscience? Am I only this annoyed because I loathe religion? No, I don’t think I am. The image itself deserved a tone of joyous solemnity (and sure, Phil played with a few golfing metaphors himself before getting into the science of it; I imagine the Metro stole the idea.) But that wouldn’t have been enough to make a prominent article; only invoking God could elevate the story into something worthy of News. Not content with printing stories about supernatural druidical assholery, they feel the need to take stories of astronomical wonder and create supernatural assholery. ” . . . this picture suggests that the Almighty could have had a round or two on the grey course – and even scored a hole-in-one.” What? You can almost hear the satisfied smirk as it drips off the journo’s face and congeals in the folds of his Armani tie.
You were so close to redeeming yourself, Metro. Now I hate you hate you hate you.
Print news, fine. Even if that means factually reporting on nonsense, fine. But taking science and jokingly inserting God? I will end you. With sticks.