I went and bought The New Paper today at the petrol station because I had already read the Straits Times this morning. There were 64 pages in today’s edition, 10 of which were soccer-related. The rest were ring-tone or chatroom ads. The 5 or so pages of news covered some international events (Thai Death Trucks) and some local ones (Hougang housewife finds 20 parangs outside flat – woo hoo. windfall; He finds sex scenes in Jurong library video – score!).
Since people who buy and read the New Paper regularly almost always watch the English Premier League and already know what’s happened the previous night in soccer, they must sometimes read the news and find some things actually newsworthy, even if the items are sensationalised to the point of being offensive. Actually, no, I think they must keep reading because it’s been sensationalised to the point of being offensive. We all are quite like that sometimes. Things can be so bad they become compelling.
So, if New Paper journalists can dig up stories like the Hougang Housewife (My word! What drama! Imagine what the parangs were stashed away for!), surely they would want to dig up some other obscure story, for to titillate the masses.
My suggestion today for an obscure, but nonetheless titillating story, would be headlined: Death penalty, a warden’s story
The warden would then describe to the journalist what he usually sees at a prison execution by hanging:
When the trap springs the prisoner dangles at the end of the rope. There are times when the neck has not been broken and the prisoner strangles to death. His eyes pop almost out of his head, his tongue swells and protrudes from his mouth, his neck may be broken, and the rope many times takes large portions of skin and flesh from the side of the face that the noose is on. He urinates, he defecates, and droppings fall to the floor while witnesses look on… A prison guard stands at the feet of the hanged person and holds the body steady, because during the last few minutes there is usually considerable struggling in an effort to breathe.*
Sensational, no? Goes well with the Straits Times and other media outlets carrying campaigns to make the public more understanding so former prisoners can be employed and be given a second chance, no? Even better if they get the New Paper’s artist to sketch pictures of the condemned prisoner shitting himself, just as they sketched pictures of people suffocating in the ‘Thai Death Trucks’ in today’s edition.
Get to it, you New Paper reporters! Sensational scoop! State-sanctioned horrible death!