Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bad News vs. Good News

I don't like watching the news. It's creepy. The talking heads are lovely and articulate, but somehow robotic. How else can we explain the cold and seemingly effortless shift from a man who murdered his baby to the home run "so and so" scored last night, and then neatly close with some footage of Boofie the Pirate Dog? Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once wrote that "Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press." (Hmm, that one is worth reading again). Is this how I'm going to end my day? Reflecting on a hodge podge of happenings that happened while I was working? I was just fine until this pile of depressing things was poured into my living room (and I include Boofie the Pirate Dog here). I know, I know.... we have a responsibility to know what's going on; to enter into the world around us and experience things as a big 'ole human family. I agree; that's what I was doing all day. News is just sometimes so..... newsy. How many times do we hear or see news programs that find 5 instances of the same crime, neatly bundling them up for us as a recipe for panic and hysteria? Global warming is behind this. Solzhenitsyn continues; "In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas. Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One would then like to ask: by what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible?" I think the power of the media can be likened to the power of Dr. Frankenstein. We've created a monster and we've zapped it with electricity and now it's taking over. Let's try and be a little more discerning about the stuff we "eat," with our brains as well as our bellies. Let's find news sources that are less sensational and a little more humane. We can really silence this media beast if we band together with the torches of truth and compassion. And if the monster feeds off of electricity, well, we can defeat it by... unplugging it. Now there's an idea... YIKES!
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