I picked up a copy of The Financial Review and reeled. It was as if I had been clobbered in the face by Boredom itself, physically assaulted by my own existential horror. The headlines of the paper screamed at me, in the sort of screams that only a mute man could muster,
'RESOURCE STATES WIDEN REVENUE GAP'!
'Resource'? 'Revenue'? Who the fuck cares?
'REBUILDING WARRANTY INSURANCE'!
'ALINTA EXECS MAY BE FORCED TO STAND ASIDE'!
Any promise that the verb 'Forced' may have had in that headline was instantly negated by the following verb, 'Stand'.
Worst of all was the one holding up the right-hand column:
'CHINA BOOM A QUESTION OF BALANCE'!
To hell with this balance!
I was being surrounded by centrists, mobbed by moderates - I needed to breathe!
And things hardly improved in the following pages. The headline, 'Ripper drops shopping from WA basket' showed a little promise until you read the opening:
Acting West Australian Premier Eric Ripper was yesterday ...
And then there was the deadly boring 'Climate, Doha talking points', 'Jobs market boosts consumers' outlook', and 'Business warns Rudd on industry policy'. Who was the idiotic sub-editor who thought it would be a good idea to end headlines with such deathly dull words as 'points', 'outlook', and 'policy', anyway?
But in this most tedious of Australian newspapers, even the most obvious opportunities were passed up:
'CALL FOR GREATER CERTAINTY ON PROJECTS'
Jesus. Just - Jesus! Could the headline have been any easier to write?
'WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON'!
Who are these zealots for moderation who run this paper, and why do they think that their defiant mumbles will make any difference to the nation at all? Do they deliberately engineer their prose to have this narcoleptic, sleep-inducing effect? And who are the whining, shuffling, simpering business-class who so meekly accept this financial pap masquerading as prose?
There really is only one thing we can do to improve the quality of The Financial Review: it may be expensive, but it is the only way. The market wrap will be presented courtesy of a Page 3 girl, who just happens to be fending off tigers at sabre point at the same time. We'll send the correspondents to the farthest, most dangerous corners of the earth. Financial correspondents will report on finance from Europe at the time of Mongol invasions, and foreign journalists will be taken forward in time to report from Armageddon itself. We need less 'balance', 'certainty', and 'insurance', and more of THIS:
'CHINA BOOMS! MONGOL HORDES LEAD BY THE GREAT KAHN DESTROY GREAT WALL! MILLIONS FEARED DEAD!'
'CLIMATE, DOHA, ANTICHRIST DEVOURING NATIONS WHOLE TALKING POINTS!'
'RESOURCE STATES WIDEN REVENUE... ARRRRGH! THEY'RE COMING TO GET ME!!!!'
It's the only way, people.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
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