I both love and hate the news.
More than anything though I dislike it, because it’s entire foundation lies in ‘what’s wrong with the world today?’. …You know that joke about how news readers will say ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to explain why it isn’t? Yeah, that’s precisely my reason for disliking the news. Unfortunately, conflict, drama and death brings in higher ratings. That’s something that’ll never change, and in today’s society, there is no shortage of it. So of course, a booming business has developed in giving people their sadistic dose of what’s wrong with the world, so we can all sit at home in our privileged little worlds and go ‘Gosh isn’t that terrible’, before doing absolutely nothing about it.
I could rant for hours on how awful the news is, but I’m afraid my fingers would wear down to stumps and I wouldn’t be able to type anymore. Moving on!
There are the lighter moments. Every now and then there are the obligatory cute animal stories, with heartwarming tales and truckloads of footage. My favourite are the ‘Doh! How’d this animal get in the airport/city/house/palace?’ ones. I mean, Cyrus the kangaroo in the Melbourne Airport? He was my hero!
But what crack me up more are the stupid headliners, and the completely pointless stories. For example, I have the news on right now, and I kid you not, a reporter just said ‘Drivers stunned, as plane lands on highway. The emphasis was on the word ‘stunned’ I mean… what else were they going to be – relieved? Pleased? Then there are the obligatory ‘Today was really hot – check out all this footage of how people were staying cool’.
Groundbreaking news you got, here, have my slow clap and eye roll.
…and yet after all of this, all of these negatives and awfulness, I still find myself watching. I don’t know, maybe it’s the optimist in me waiting for the day when the newsreaders go ‘Well, we’ve been waiting for this day for years, but… you see, nothing bad has happened today. Here, watch some YouTube footage of a porcupine eating some pumpkin instead! Good night folks, we mean it!’
Alas, I think I’d be waiting a while for a day like that. It does make me wonder though, how good would a news channel/program entirely dedicated to bringing the happy news be? I sure as hell would watch it, and I’m sure there are heaps of other people out there that would too. Imagine that – instead of reporting on war, death and famine, you would hear of joy, success and happiness. It makes me sad that this isn’t already a thing. Even sadder still that it’s probably because fear and negativity sells more than contentedness and joy. I guess it comes back to our human nature, we want to hear about people who have it worse than we do so we can feel better about ourselves.
…I don’t know quite how to end this post, but I feel like telling you that the amount of sigh-ing I’ve been doing while writing it has been phenomenal. One day, the news will be good…. One day.