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When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

No News Is Good News

I always struggle when I’m asked to describe myself. I like to think this is due to my humble nature, but then if I said so that wouldn’t be very humble, would it? A sort of catch-22, if you like. But in truth, it’s more likely due to the fact that there really isn’t much to say; I’m not some mild-mannered reporter by day, super-hero in tights by night person. Alright ladies, stop imagining that in your head. I don’t belong to any secret societies, I don’t take part in adventure sports and I don’t have wild and wacky misadventures with my best F.R.I.E.N.D.S., all of whom live next door to each other and have nothing else to do except constantly walk into each others apartments and eventually sleep with one another.

My real friends however have no such problems; that is, if they were asked to describe me, I’m sure they’d come up with a vast array of adjectives, some of which I am sure will include ‘pessimistic’, ‘sarcastic’, ‘negative’, ‘pissed off’ and ‘bastard’.

I plead guilty; I admit I am a bit of a pessimist (though just like all pessimists, I call it being ‘realistic’) and I am somewhat blessed in the sarcasm department. And naturally, when I hear these things being said about me, I get pissed off. See? It’s not my fault, really. As for ‘bastard’, well, never mind. But seriously, even if I am a bit pessimistic now and then, I’m not exactly standing on street corners dressed in muddy raincoats and screaming “THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!” In my opinion, that should be considered an achievement, because if you think about it, I have every right to be paranoid.

Why, you ask? Simple; the news channels.

Switch on any cable news channel and you’re bound to be bombarded with bad news; tornadoes in America, cyclones in Burma, volcanoes in Chile, incest in Austria, dead children in England and missing children in Portugal. If that wasn’t enough, throw in the political turmoil in Zimbabwe, where a dictator continues to hold power despite losing an election, demands a recount (thank you Mr. Bush) while at the same time killing off members of the opposition party one by one. The international community can do nothing of course, except sit and report it. Let’s not forget the Middle East, where there is so much chaos and turmoil that a suicide bomb attack is as newsworthy as the weather in Alaska. To relieve the tension though, they talk about the US presidential elections; the election to decide who is going to lead one of the biggest superpowers in the world, and decide whose finger is going to be on the big red button marked “Kill-em-all”. Well, one of the nominees is pushing 90, one is inexperienced and has ties to a racist pastor, and the other is Hillary Clinton. Wow, some relief.

Now, I know that I have a tendency to exaggerate now and then, but everything I wrote in the above paragraph is true; the tornadoes, cyclones, volcanoes, all true. But I suppose the most chilling and heart-breaking is the story of Josef Fritzel in Austria, who locked his own daughter in his cellar for 24 years. No, that is not a typo, I mean 24 years. Twenty four years during which the 42 year old woman, who was 18 at the time, was repeatedly abused and raped by her father. She gave birth to 7 children during that time, 7 of his children. One died at child birth and was burned in an incinerator, three were adopted by Josef and his wife, who had no idea about what was going on in her own cellar. Such was the genius of this man that he spun a web of lies to cover up his daughter’s absence, claiming she had run away and joined a religious cult, and that the three children were left at the door step with a note from the mother claiming she could not care for them anymore. The remaining three children lived in their underground dungeon with their mother. Until their release two weeks ago, none of the three had ever seen the sun, or breathed fresh air. This ghastly tale would never have come to light if one of the children had not developed serious medical complications and had to be taken to the hospital. Josef, fearing his time was up, released them all, and the mother came to the police to testify under the conditions that she would never have to see her father again. The child has multiple organ failure, and is not expected to live long.

It is stories like this that leave me wondering; maybe ignorance really is bliss. Maybe we were all better off a hundred years ago before the development of satellite television. Back then, we wouldn’t know about such atrocities occurring across the globe. We wouldn’t see the rampant death and destruction around our world, and we wouldn’t become so numbed to it the way we are today. We complain about television content being inappropriate for children, yet I find it hard to believe any parent would encourage their child to watch the news these days. Watching the news may shape your child into thinking the whole world is full of rapists, paedophiles, murderers and drug addicts. At least on TV shows, the good guys win in the end.

Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong as usual; maybe I’ve just over reacted to the situation and blown it out of proportion. Maybe I’m just being ‘pessimistic’.

For a change, I hope you’re right.


Sakshi said...

:) hmmmm..... point taken... no news is good news... and that thsis is all that we get to hear and see these days on the news channels..and no.. your not being a pessimist... BUT.. if it was n't for channels, reporters, stringers.. we would've never known what's happening around the world which would make us more cautious.. which would initiate a thought process... which would make us realise that we gotta get conscious of our actions and be more careful.. you could write this blog cause your aware of the facts.. and how? through television!!! ironic.. isn't it?!!!

Sabby said...

Why watch the news channel then??!
Watch some Desperate Housewives or something. =P

Ahhh yes the pessimist comment. Surprising how optimistic you are usually though...I fink there's a technical error somewhere.

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