That’s my question, as I sit here, sipping on my morning coffee, typing this as I half-listen to the TV.
Normally, during the day when we are home, my wife and I, like so many of you, just turn our TV to one of the news networks and then we pretty much ignore it for the rest of the day.
Its a strange new state of mind for many of us, this; listening but not really listening, seeing but not really watching, while we concentrate on other things in our life
Oh, don’t get me wrong, if they come on and flash some interesting “breaking news” we will automatically know somethings up and we will look up and maybe even watch the goings-on in the world. For a few minutes, maybe.
But as I said, typically, we are doing other things and the TV is just some kind of special background noise to us.
As I pour another mug of coffee, the newspeople run through their top news speeches. For instance, here are some of the items they deemed as newsworthy and ran across the big screen in the past fifteen minutes;
- Three men (radicals?, Islamists? Terrorists? Jihadists? Yawn!) in Tunisia have just killed eight people (tourists) in a museum and are in a standoff with the local police.
- Someone else has sent a death threat to our Ambassador to Japan(Caroline Kennedy). Come on, you know it, if a Kennedy passes gas, it ties up all of the networks for a week doing what they call “analysis”.
- The Israeli’s are electing their new Parliament. (Don’t ask for details, its some kind of party popularity contest that then requires building a majority of their many little political party’s). They’ll take a week or so just hammering out one of their famous, yet tenuous, majorities
- Our Ambassador in Korea, you know the one that was stabbed by some fanatic, is coming along fine, thank you.
- The Boston Bomber, you remember that mess, right? Well, the trial is coming along and occasionally an interesting tidbit is flashed on the screen from some of the different peoples testimony.
- And, Oh Yeah, Putin showed up after disappearing for ten days in Russia. Most likely a vacation to be with his girlfriend as she has his baby?
Here is where I make my point.
Do we get told far too much about these relatively small news items?
I mean, think about it, a hundred years ago we would have heard about maybe one or two of these “breaking international” news items, and maybe we would have taken the time to read about it in our daily newspaper.
Just for a little perspective, Real News items a hundred years ago were things like;
- It took a major bloody battle between hundreds, even thousands of revolutionists and the existing government of some country to make our hometown news.
- The opening (or problems with) the Suez or Panama Canals would get a line or twi on a back page maybe.
- Some pilot (male or female) flying across the Atlantic in a single engine airplane would be talked about if the article had some nice pictures of the airplane.
- The discovery of a cure for some disease like Malaria would probably be pushed to a back page below the editorials.
These were the type of news items that made the newspaper then.
Now? Three guys in Tunisia kill some tourists and even without any facts it makes for hours of coverage by all of the major networks, around the world.
So, do we know too much?
Are we actually being saturated with relatively trivial news.
In fact, are the horrible deeds of a; killer, rapist, terrorist, jihadist, or whatever, actually worthy of our wasting so many precious minutes of our limited lifespan?
Are we all, including our leaders, so impressed by these “little” incidents that we are all swayed in how we do our jobs in the crafting of our laws and protection and our governments expenditures.
Are we drowning in the happenings in far-away places that are very often just mundane incidents, when looked at from a global perspective?
Are these modern day fears we face with our coffee every morning and our cocktails every night, just too damn much audio and video brain-washing?
Oh well! I wonder what the fools on Fox are talking about now.
by Don Bobbitt, 2015
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, 2015, All Rights Reserved.
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