There always a dash of excitement that comes with heading down to shops in the 'burbs and finding a copy of the Toorak Metropolitan News stacked invitingly on a park bench. For those not fortunate enough to live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, the Toorak News is probably best described as one part Andrew Bolt, one part local Rotary club, six parts Yellow Pages, all in full-colour newsprint.
There are plenty of reasons to love the Toorak Metropolitan News, and here is a mere 6 of them:
- The Name. News from Toorak? Nope. Produced in Toorak? Not if the St Kilda Road address is any guide. Distributed to Toorak? Yes, and 40 other suburbs in a 20km arc south and east of the CBD. Perhaps TMN are a fan of my idea of keeping the property bubble alive by naming every suburb relative to Toorak; Footscray is "Toorak West", Lilydale is "Outer Toorak", Heidelberg is "Toorak Hills"... adds thousands to the value!
- The random Capitalisation. Doesn't Matter whether it deserves it or Even requires it, it just get's popped in there to Add some authority to whatever is being said. This is joined by, random punctuation; that never really looks Right.
- The completely shameless advertorials; without anything at all to identify it as advertising. All that hokey enthusiasm for whatever crap is being flogged, it makes you want to spend, spend, spend. Yep, I do need the services of Professor Wang, the Psychic Healing Professor. Now.
- The crackpot editorial line. With opinions and arguments completely lacking in evidence, logic or relevance, this stuff is irresistable. Take this quote from the September edition, straight off the presses: "Nobody has bothered to comment, (sic)that financially, Australia is one of the safest Countries (sic) in the World (sic)... The economy has been doing nothing else but improve over the last 12 years." Best of all, the repeated use of "I", without a by-line telling the reader who "I" is.
- The letters page. In this case it's People's Views, although my money is a bit of a creative writing exercise from the editor, giving the strikingly similar style that our mysterious anonymous editor and his/her army of letter writers seem to have.
- The columnists, presumably carefully selected to make the editor look like the normal one. There's Bruce Ruxton, God Bless Him, rabbitting on about the same crap that's kept him in the papers for 30 years. And then there's new columnist Adrian Jackson, sufferring from relevance depravation syndrome since discovering constantly savaging the Israeli government is not the best way to score yourself Liberal party preselection.
So do yourself a favour, grab yourself a copy, sit back and enjoy the dizzying heights that mediocrity in publishing can reach. Now where can I contact a good Psychic Dentist?