I think we are becoming a bunch of depressed people, unwittingly. I mean, look at that piece of converted tree pulp we call a newspaper that we reach for each morning before sipping our wake•me•up coffee. And you computer geeks, you who reach for your laptop or Blackberry instead, you are not absolved either —you are just getting your dose of bad news in just another way. Most medicines can be taken in liquid or tablet form, you know.
So, back to where I digressed, I open this newspaper and what do I get? “Young Girl Stoned to Death”? “More body bags returning from Afghanistan” “Hurricane Karl” – oh, yeah, are we up to the letter K already and September’s not over? “Employment numbers worsen” —who cares; I am not looking for permanent employment any more, gave up that foolish pursuit a long time ago. Wait, there’s more: “Economy on the tip of a double dip” – sure, blame it on greed! “Interest rates rising”, “House sales flat”, “Forest fires in BC”, Refugee flotillas bound for Canada”. “HIV infected needles implanted in gas pumps” – just squeeze and die!
I then reach for my coffee. A balancing of my mental state takes place: the low of the news is counteracted with a high from the java. And I need stronger and stronger java these days. No wonder, the bad news is getting stronger and stronger too!
We seem to be addicted to that damned newspaper. We read it over breakfast, in the subway, in parks, at Tim Hortons, in the office, in the cafeteria, and even on the way home if we have not devoured it end to end by then, just to re•assure ourselves (after our morning reading) that the world is still unchanged, that this joint is still a BAD PLACE!
Is bad news a necessity for life to continue? The low to every high? I mean, would anyone buy a newspaper that has headlines like: “Couple happily celebrate 75th wedding anniversary” or “Families celebrate Thanksgiving in record numbers this year”, “Canada is still a great place to live”, “Life expectancy rates rise”, “SID death rates drop”, “Crime virtually eradicated in Canada,”, “Cure for Breast Cancer Found?” Nah, too boring – they say!
They say that thoughts manifest themselves, and a surfeit of bad news can sometimes manifest in recurring bad events. So why bring new disaster by wallowing in yesterday’s disasters every morning?
Hey, you know what? I am throwing out the newspaper and turning on the cartoons on TV with my morning (mild) java for the next little while, at least until those damned gloomy newspapers cheer me up with some good news for a change. And I’ll probably be inadvertently joining the masses of displeased readers who have already cast their vote like me and plunged journalism into its new Dark Age. Blame the Internet, Blogging, Self•Publishing and all that bull? Nah • look at your content, brother.