Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Headline Poo-etry

Last month I was on a particularly tedious flight from Winnipeg to Toronto. The good news: free newspapers; the bad news: all they had was the National Post. But hey, they were free, so I got my shot of right-wing sensationalism for the day at no charge. But having quickly reached my fill of slanted reporting and inane weekend filler, I started simply scanning headlines.

This proved more entertaining than I’d thought it could be because the Post had some hilariously surreal and attention-grabbing story titles – all made much better without context. So I made a list of my faves, noticed some thematic similarities, and arranged a bunch of them into a “poem” of sorts. Then I picked one for a headline that I thought fit. Like I said, it was tedious flight.

So, the result is below. Each line – they’re taken from a variety of sections – represents an entire headline from that Sept. 17 issue. It seems like a better use of both the Post and, well, poetry in general, and I like that it not only gives the flavour of a particular rag (in this case by decrying societal decay with an air of condescension), it also makes you wonder what the hell some of the stories were about.

I’m sure this idea isn’t new by any means, but I may be the first shmuck to do it tens of thousands of feet above Manitoba, so there.

Without further ado…

‘These are not utopian dreams’

Can you keep a secret?

One in 10 Canadians just can’t live without a good striptease act

Vice, gaiety and spangled pasties in Old Montreal

A red G-string glazed with Pina Colada

Good, bad and hideous

Soft addictions are the worst kind

Let me fix you a drink

Brown bag it

Another miscue from the Ethics Czar

No time for the minutemen

We’re not in Yokohama anymore, Toto-san!

(National Post, Sept 17, 2005)

I wish I could recall what the hell that last story was about. Anyhow, I’m gonna try to post one of these regularly, at least until I get bored with ‘em or something more exciting happens to me, like I get audited or have a really bad fall. I’m hoping y’all will give it a shot too and post ‘em here and/or in the comments section. Seems like a reasonable way to be retarded... together. Almost any newspaper should work but I suggest the less levelheaded and more sensational ones like the Post or the Sun. To keep it interesting and challenging, I’ve worked up a set of rules:

Guidelines for Headline Poo-etry

1) Each line must be comprised of an entire headline – no partial headlines, multiple headlines or lines comprised of two partial headlines stuck together.

2) Headlines can come from anywhere in the paper except ads.

3) Only headlines, no subheads.

4) Work must be comprised of headlines from a single edition.

5) Each work should have a title also comprised of a headline (this makes for unusually appropriate or entertainingly non-sequitur titles).

6) Punctuation and quotes should remain intact (in the title too).

7) The paper and date of publication should be noted at the bottom… for posterity, beeyotch!

Word Nerd powers: ACTIVATE!


Blogger Heather said...

Best. Game. Ever.

That was spectacularly hilarious!

7:54 AM

Blogger Heather said...

I cal this "Pulling a U-turn on the highway of love"

Whisper sweet nothings
A labour of love
The art of two thumbs
Labour dispute gets meaty
It’s not Alberta’s size that counts
Tickle your Spidey senses in a new way
Countdown to disaster
The glad face
‘He’s a better player than his dad’
Colour co-ordinated bulletproof vests protect monks in Thailand

Dose, Oct. 17

8:44 AM

Blogger Dave said...

Epic! Sweet title, too. I mean, come on, who hasn't pulled a U-turn on the Hightway of Love?

I think my fave line is "The glad face". Simple, weird, PROFOUND! And hilarious. I gotta snag a Dose to see what it's all about.

10:47 AM

Anonymous collin said...

Wow, this is fun:
"Wildrose summer"

Riders have faith they'll make it sea to sea
Big league dreams rekindled
Queen rivals take to the saddle
Chili cook-off officially cancelled

-- Medicine Hat News, A section, July 14, 2005

1:01 PM

Blogger enthrall said...

Like it, love it. Someone was going to do it anyway: me first! (I'm an over-punctuator, and I think it improves the modulation. Nyeh.)

Short is the new long

I dream of Gini's:
A history of violets,
America’s worst nightmare.
Together again for the first time,
Hit the road, Sisters.
End of an era.
Everything must go!

-- Vue Weekly, October 13, 2005

1:21 PM

Blogger Superdude said...

I subtitle this contribution "the paper i work for has aids"
The Daily News, Oct 17/18 2005

"Go pound sand"

Where do victims turn?
Shots wound three,
Potential sailor reduction raises questions
Police seek suspect in shootings Community calls cops heavy-handed
Community seeking heritage designation for church
CSI and the jury
Changing the face of Halifax Police following leads
Crime, shoot, crime, shoot (not really)
Speed reading sparks ideas
Tale of a fugitive dog

10:48 AM


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