Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Epic Fail part II

When I go for a ride that is not designed to get me to work, I call it a jaunt, or a jape, or a caper. I never call it a stunt. Those words are supposed to mean that the ride will be fun and mentally relaxing, even if it is physically strenuous. That's why I tend to stooge around in an undisciplined fashion and ogle things that most cyclists would tear by at Warp IV.

I stooged over to the site of Epic Fail again yesterday, forgetting to take my tape measure with me.


And no, I had no desire to measure the height of the sea wall by jumping down into the mud and seeing how far up my body the wall came. Bike shoes have holes in the bottom for ventilation, and they are wonderfully efficient at allowing mud, slugs and wet grass to make contact with your toes.

I ask you to consider this paragraph from the Daily Telegraph:

The vehicle had been travelling east on Byrne Rd when the driver lost control about 2.10am, careering across Lysaght Park and down a 5m drop on to rocks at the water's edge of Five Dock Bay.

Look at the words that I have bolded.

To start with, it is Byrne Ave, not Byrne Rd. I know that, because I used to live there.

When I read the phrase careering across (a) park, I think of that great scene in the Blues Brothers when, during the car chase, they leave the highway and career across the reservation. Many police cars crash as they go over the bank, and one ends up on the back of a truck.

Now that's careering.

But look at the photo above. Check out the width of the "park". It's about 5 metres wide. The lay of the land in this area is that you have two parks about 100m apart - Lysaght at one end and Russell at the other, and they are joined by a strip of grass with a path on it - like an hourglass. The car went across the thin bit between the parks. The grassy bit at that point is just wide enough for two dogs to crap side by side. If it was any narrower, the council would have to build a boardwalk along here.

To me, careering denotes a long, long, long slide. This was not careering. It wasn't even really a park either.

I've already covered the 5 metre drop.

Then we have the bit about rocks at the bottom.

With that, I produce Exhibit B, the above photo. Yes, there are "rocks" at the bottom, but this is not like the drop at The Gap. We are not talking about boulders the size of houses. We are talking about fist sized rocks, squelched into a lot of dark, stinky mud.

When I read a phrase regarding a long drop onto rocks, it brings to mind one of those typical movie scenes where a car goes over a cliff and dramatically explodes in a fireball halfway down.

This was more a plop into some mud rather than a drop onto rocks.

And that was an interesting intellectual exercise in the use of language and hyperbole.

The sad thing is this - we've just discovered that this story contained two factual errors and a bucketload of beatup - and that's just from looking at about 1/3 of the story. If this is a representative sample of what the media feeds us, heaven help us.

It's no wonder they have fallen for all the crap regarding global warming, Krudd and O'theone.

The reporter, Michael Mapstone, needs to get a grip on reality and go back to the basics - like reporting the facts with accuracy. If I want to be entertained by fantasy and unreality, I'll go read a Greens policy statement.

This rant is far from over.

1 comment:

Margo's Maid said...

Go get 'em BOAB...Certainly looks like some News Ltd types are checking in.