Louis Crimp. Of all the public statements that Mr Crimp has made, there's one in particular that really rattles my cage. Which is saying a lot because there have been quite a few "interesting" comments made, some of which might involve sex acts in wooded areas.
But, inappropriate "creepy uncle" questioning of female reporters aside, the real issue here is the one where Crimp goes after those at the bottom of the heap. Those that were once the kings and queens of their own domain but now are treated with contempt.
I am of course speaking of the newspapers.
In April 2010, Louis Crimp wrote a letter to the Southland Times* in which he objected to a Māori word being used in the crossword (he only got the paper for the crossword, he said) and, not wanting to purchase a Māori Dictionary to complete said crossword, his inclination was to cancel his subscription to the paper instead.
But as we all know, newspaper readership internationally has been declining steadily over the years. According to some US statistics, newspaper advertising revenue is at the same level as it was in 1950s. The Southland Times probably had to downgrade from Tim Tams to Superwines in the team room biscuit tin because of this.
So Crimp's feedback, even though he may by his actions have condemned southern reporters to inferior morning tea treats, is actually very valuable. I'm sure there's not a paper in the land that can afford to lose even one paid-up subscriber these days without there being drastic effects. Heck, we may find a situation in the not too distant future where there are NO biscuits and I'm sure no one wants that.
If the regular income of an ongoing subscription could be lost over something as seemingly inoffensive as a Māori term being used in the crossword, then what other heinous crimes might papers be committing on a daily basis that are causing this haemorrhage of readership?
Well, I have to be honest - I don't have a newspaper subscription. But if I did have one, these are the things that would definitely make me cancel it. I hope all the Editors in Chief of the nation read this because this list might just end up saving their bacon:
Things that I would cancel a newspaper subscription over
Fashion editorials that encourage the public wearing of Crocs, flannelette pyjamas, Ugg boots, mankinis, tights as pants, leggings decorated with penises.
Papyrus used for headlines, Comic Sans for body text.
Printing the newspaper on sandpaper rather than newsprint.
All articles are published in txt speak.
Naked photos of Don Brash are published without any modesty-protecting "blurs". Mind you, I'd probably be blind at that point having gouged out my own eyeballs with hot teaspoons so I daresay I won't be reading much of anything in any format other than Braille.
Replacing all tittles over lowercase i's and j's with lovehearts.
In all instances where John Key is mentioned, a small line drawing of a donkey is used instead of his actual name.
It is revealed that the Editor in Chief is actually a meerkat.
The paper consistently fails to publish winning Lotto numbers until after they've been drawn.
The masthead is redesigned and becomes a picture of the Kardashian sisters reclining on a pile of money.
All photographs of people, whether they be local business people, children or politicians, are posed doing "duckface".
Photographs of sweaty sportsmen are "scratch and sniff".
Completely made up words are used in the crossword.
So, that's my list. I don't know if any of these resonate with you? I mean, I think these are all at least as bad as having some te reo in your crossword but then, it seems that people can be turned off by the most bizarre things so my frame of reference might be a bit skewed here. And hey, it's not like I haven't got a bee in my bonnet about things before. I once chopped up my Subway card over something that probably not that many people were bothered about.
But let's give the newspapers a helping hand and show Mr Crimp that yep, there ARE some things worth cancelling your subscription over, goshdarnit. Your additions to this list are warmly welcomed**.
*Hat tip to @Toby_etc for digging up the letter
** As long as they're not in Comic Sans
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