LUV - Here’s a true thing: I own (and wear) a pair of earrings made from Lego bricks. Yellow ones. Within my line of sight, at this very moment, there is a Moomin, a plush toy snake, four wooden Vikings and a mermaid, and I don’t even have any children.
I am not what you would call one of life’s realists.
Which is why the news is brilliant for people like me. If it wasn’t for the news, I wouldn’t know that we’d been dipping in and out of recession for ages. Why would I? Everything on the high street is always on sale! If it wasn’t for the news, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that David Cameron was prime minister. I’d just have assumed that he was Piers Morgan and that I was due an eye test.
And, if it wasn’t for the news, I wouldn’t understand half of Have I Got News for You. I’d have spent the last decade deeply impressed by Angus Deayton’s apparently neverending repertoire of convincing disguises.
For people like me, people who walk around constantly with at least three zombie-apocalypse survival plans in their heads, the news is an anchor to reality.
On the news a newscaster will tell you calmly, and with authority, exactly what the world is about. And you’ll believe them because newscasters are some of the coolest and most composed motherfuckers to walk the planet. Kirsty Wark alone looks as though she could simultaneously disarm a bomb, give birth, and sort out Greece’s debt without breaking a sweat.
The news only gets a bit silly when pop culture enters the fray, and newscasters are forced to disgorge distasteful words like “Pussy Riot” with the clanging gravitas of “referendum”. But that’s fine. Because I don’t want to hear Huw Edwards uncomfortably referencing the Arctic Monkeys. I want newscasters to dispense proper news.
Proper news is reassuring. Even bad news is comforting when it’s delivered in rich, measured tones by someone who looks sharp in a tailored jacket. If Moira Stewart told me, for instance, that a catastrophic meteor was heading for Earth, I’d probably give a wry laugh, fix myself a dirty martini, and toast humanity. And I don’t even like dirty martinis.
If you told me this, however, I’d probably punch you, then myself, then run around in circles, yelping. Then I’d punch you again, just for not being Moira Stewart. So, in summary: shut the fuck up, I’m watching the news. In my Lego earrings.
- Robyn Wilder
HAT - Hey, who remembers the news? God, it was brilliant. If you wanted to know things about stuff, it was the best. Turn on your telly at breakfast or lunchtime or teatime or bedtime and there was the news, telling you about all the important events that had happened in the world. And, you know, skateboarding cats or whatever.
And the news wasn’t just about the past. At the end of each bulletin, they’d wheel on a pretty girl in a nice dress and she’d tell you what the weather was going to be like in the future. And sometimes you’d get told the news even if you weren’t really interested. Sometimes someone would just pop up right before EastEnders and shout “THERE’S BEEN A FIRE!” and then just fuck off again. It was brilliant.
Of course, that was all before the Olympics started. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like the Olympics. Luv them, even. I’ve spent the last two weeks shouting things like “HOORAY FOR HANDBALL!” and “SURELY THE RULES OF SPRINT CYCLING NEED TO BE OVERHAULED IN THE WAKE OF VICTORIA PENDLETON’S MEDAL RELEGATION!” and “WHAT THE FUCK IS DRESSAGE EVEN SUPPOSED TO BE?”. I’ve enjoyed it. Except for the dressage, obviously. I’m not a cunt.
But the Olympics have royally screwed with the news. Thanks to the Olympics, the top six or seven news headlines are always ‘HOLY SHIT! DID YOU JUST SEE THE THING THAT HAPPENED IN THE FUCKING OLYMPICS?’. Which would be great, except I did just see the thing that happened in the Olympics, because it was literally just on bloody television. It was literally the only thing on television. I didn’t have a choice, because the Olympics were literally the only thing on bloody television. Except for whatever was on ITV, obviously, but I’m not a cunt.
My point is that the news needs to calm down. Other things have happened too. Just because the studio faces Olympic Park, it doesn’t mean that Fiona Bruce has to keep wiping her vagina up and down on it. Oh sure, sometimes they’ll stop dribbling on about how brilliant canoeists suddenly are to say “Oh, and by the way, Asia’s just fallen into the sea,” but you can tell that their hearts aren’t really in it because it hasn’t got anything to do with the Olympics. And you know what? This relentless fixation on the Olympics is tedious. I miss the actual news.
But this is all superfluous. Next week the Olympics will be over and the news will return to normal. And then we can go back to hearing about missing children and violent crime and misery and gloom and death and I can go back to sleeping with a stick in my hand because I’m convinced that I’ll be attacked by an intruder and that the world is a cold, lonely, loveless place spinning joylessly towards its inevitable horrible death. So, you know, hooray for that.
- Stuart Heritage