“The world’s gone mad.”
Saint Mary and I often look at each other and say that, after reading or hearing the latest news or reacting to a particular social media posting. The world’s gone mad.
The top of this column has always read “Start your day with a cup of sanity.” I had originally offered that to you, but today, that seems presumptuous. Maybe it’s there to help me drink from my own cup. The following are some ideas that seem important to me. I don’t suggest they are for you, I know only that I probably need to hear them. You may agree with them and if so, you’re welcome to think about them. They are my cup of sanity this morning in a world that’s gone mad.
I Don’t Need The News Media
People will tell me about any news they’ve heard and I can discuss it with them if I feel the need. I should avoid the news media whenever and wherever I can. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and assume all is well, but I am beginning to believe that the news is important to me only if I can talk about it with a real live human being. Being bombarded with it from every electronic avenue is doing me no good whatsoever. I think I’ll listen when I want to, and otherwise just turn it off. There used to be decent news in our society. It was long ago in a galaxy far, far away, when news organizations, whether print or broadcast, had one purpose: just get the news out there. I am from the first television generation, Mickey Mouse Club, I Love Lucy and all of that. In those days, the news organizations didn’t make a profit. They were carried, if you will, by the networks as a public service. They figured they could broadcast the news once per day, in the evening, and get the important stuff to us. Not so today. Today, the news cycle is continual and they’re selling advertising. In order to sell advertising continually, they need something to feed us continually. So they invent things and call it news. It’s not. Stormy Daniels isn’t news. The Russians aren’t news; they’ve been around forever. Trump isn’t news and neither is Nancy Pelosi. It’s all just drivel and nonsense intended to make me argue with someone. The news media is now divided into separate camps. If they weren’t, it would be hard to invent news. Without the contrast—the constant argument–they can’t produce constant “news.” And of course, without constant news, they can’t sell constant advertising. I begin to think of myself as a rat in a cage, being constantly shocked as I press the wrong levers. I’m getting a little tired of that. So maybe I’ll let all of this “news” come to me from people I know. That way, at least, I can discuss it with them and draw my own conclusions.
I Need Social Media For One Reason
I need it to get this column to you. That’s about it. It’s probably not important that you read it, but more that I’ve said it. I’ve gotten it out of me. Some of you answer and I feel as though we’ve had at least a small discussion. We’ve connected, minded our manners and done something important to each of us. Blasting opinions on social media is like shooting arrows from the narrow turret window in a castle. You can shoot your arrow and you’re protected; you don’t have to be responsible for it. You don’t have to answer. Social media promotes our own irresponsibility. I was never a perfect child, but not once in my youth did I say “I’d like to be irresponsible.” There is very little about social media that is good for me.
I have the odd feeling that if we all recognized the news media and social media for what they are, the world would be a much better place. This isn’t intended to be profound. It’s just a little cup of sanity.