I am sick of bad news… Every morning after leaving Morpheus’ arms, I turned on the boob tube to watch the news. It has been part of my regular routine for a long time, and I do this almost without thinking.
But instead of paving the way for a pleasant day, the news makes me unhappy and cranky. Almost invariably, every broadcast is overflowing with Bad News. I would not mind hearing about it occasionally, but a daily diet of this toxic fare is quite upsetting. It feels like the disgusting cod liver oil that we were fed regularly while in elementary school.
Before the day even begins, we are reminded of all the countries engulfed in violence: Ukraine, Haiti, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Venezuela, most of Central Africa… and many other obscure spots that we know very little about.
OK, OK, are you going to say, but this violence Thank God, is not happening in America. Well, I am not so sure… Recurrent mass shootings, robberies, muggings, unruly flight passengers, the specter of bank failures, strikes, unending migrant crossings, drought, floods, tornadoes, pollution, cost of living…
“Bad news travels fast. Good news takes the scenic route.” — Doug Larson
And I almost forgot France. I don’t get a better fare when I tune in to TV5 Monde (the French broadcasting channel). Egged on by powerful unions, the country has been rioting non-stop for months… it has been conditioned to believe that they have the God-given right to stop working at 62… and be well compensated for it until they croak. Let’s be realistic, folks… France is not Saudi Arabia.
Protest is nothing new in the land of crêpes and croissants. You might not know this, but every Frenchman (and Frenchwoman) is born with an obscure but powerful gene. It lays dormant for a few years, but as soon as the individual enters college (or gets his/her driving license), the gene wakes up and pressures the individual to protest. Protest everything and anything.
Protest is meaningful when it happens occasionally and for a noble cause, like the cessation of the uncalled-for (and unjust) war in Ukraine. But it loses much of its impact when it happens almost routinely.
To sum it up, I wish to keep my sanity and would like TV stations to give us a more balanced share of good and bad news. Is it too much to ask for?