A jolt of bad news with your morning java

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.

2 thoughts on “A jolt of bad news with your morning java”

  1. Hi Shane,

    How true this is-for this reason in years I have not picked up a newspaper or watched the new on tv I mean why? I much rather read something which is going to add value to my life and increase my growth potential. You’re right there’s no such thing any longer as permanent employment as I try to tell my friends who refuse to see life as it is. Maybe you’re onto something-starting a newspaper which only uses positive headlines-no gloom.

    Keep writing I enjoy reading your insightful blogs. Are you writing your next book? You’re a great author-you just have to continue to find ways of getting your book on the national best seller’s list for more readers to read. I mean how did the “Kite Runner” become so famous or “The life of Pi” or “The Alchemist”….you too are just as good!

    Wishing you continued success.

  2. Tae – thanks for your comments. It helps boost the self-esteem that writers need because we often wonder who reads our material and whteher it is any good. I am writing another novel, a historical novel and I have a few more m/s already in the bag looking for the right opportunity to come out. For me, the focus has been on honing the craft and capturing the stories in my head before they dry up. I am sure they will always find a way to be published, either in my life or post humously. Getting on best-seller lists would be fine, but the story must stand on its own and not be propped up by a lot of marketing hype. I recently had a short story accepted for publication that I wrote over 30 years ago and lost. So I guess a good story can never be hidden. Appreciate if you can circulate my blog link to your friends – the wider the audience the better. And thank you for being a loyal reader of my work.

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