Monday, March 24, 2008

Death on wheels: the traditional Easter media snuff fest

There are some Australian media cliches that withstand the test of time - we will always have rain failing to dampen spirits of revellers at the Melbourne Cup, and close-up shots of fat arses and guts during stories about obesity, but at this time of the year we get long, drawn-out cavalcades of B-grade personalities during interminable telethons accompanied by images of people handing over giant novelty cheques.

We all feel better, some kids get to say 'hi mum' on telly and some of our more colourful 'business identities' get to write off another bag of money for the taxman - with the added bonus of televised character references for the next time the Feds come a-knocking.

The other grand tradition in Australian media is counting how many people are being killed on the roads - and then running a national scoreboard between the states, showing how many people got splattered. Currently it's 19 - but we can do better, Australia!
Have a look at how West Australia is going at it: Easter road toll in WA: 5 and rising See? That's a state that's getting behind the annual cull of young and old alike. Right now it's lunchtime on the Easter Monday and so far Google News has 399 stories listed about the Easter road toll. Extra bonus points to the kids of Cressy, however - for taking cops on a car chase after robbing a service station, while one of their mates was in the boot. They stacked into a tree. Sadly, officers were not allowed to handcuff any of them to the bumper bar, hand them a hacksaw then set a small fire in the dripping petrol.
At this point in Easter you can start playing media coverage bingo - you get bonuses for these particular words used in any headline/story text combination:
Horror, Carnage, Police Frustrated, Toll (never a bodycount or a corpse-score, it's always a toll), Young Lives, Fatality, Tragedy and Lives Shattered.

Tomorrow, we will bank the money Holden and Ford paid us to advertise stupid-fast cars to 19 year olds needing a manhood ritual, and the money we made from BMW and Mercedes making giant four wheel drives the new must-have accessory for the over 50 executives who just can't bear to be dragged off by those fucking 19 year olds. And then we will write an editorial about there needing to be more education and tougher laws. Australian media, you make me sick.

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