The News

I was talking with a friend yesterday who is understandably down about the state of the world.  I realized that I have slowly crept away from the news, and I'm a little happier that way.  I used to listen to NPR, read the paper, and listen to a few political podcasts, and I don't do that so much anymore.  But when I dip my toe back into that water, I find that the news is pretty much the same.  The details change a little tiny bit, but not much.  Here's the latest news, as I understand it.  Let me know if anything changes.

  1.  Every few days there's a school shooting.  A disturbed, lonely, angry, disenfranchised and/or mentally ill man shoots innocent people.  This sparks a mini discussion about gun control, but the gun people always win, not budging on their stance that every whack job should have access to a gun or we aren't truly free.  Freedom has come to mean having the chance to be shot dead in math class.
  2. Funding continues to be cut for mental health and family support services that could, in theory, prevent some humans from becoming distrubed, lonely, angry, disenfranchised and mentally ill.  
  3. Israel and Palestine are engaged in a horrific, violent war.  Every so often there's a pause (that's where the news is), but the ceasefires don't last.  There is deep mistrust on both sides.
  4. Every few days, a man with power is accused of raping young women with less power.  These athletes, comedians, cultural icons, priests, and politicians tend to be protected by the system at large, and rarely go to jail.  Women aren't surprised by this news.  Men wonder why women don't do more to stop these crimes in the moment, or report them later.  Women know why.  
  5. Congress is fighting like immature children and can't get anything done, mostly because a few small-minded extremists won't compromise on anything for the good of the whole, which is what government should be about.  The reasonable electeds who are willing to negotiate aren't met with the same courtesy, and thus, are labeled as weak. 
  6. Gender equality has stalled, in part because the 40-hour work week makes it difficult for families with children to have two parents working full time.  In most families, it makes more sense for the man to work because duh, on average, he makes 25% more than she does, perpetuating stale gender roles.  Corporations have done little to respond to the needs of families with children by offering flexibility; it still is framed as an issue affecting women, who are told to LEAN IN.   Caring for our young, the most important function of a species, is the some of the most underpaid and undervalued work around.
  7. Growing food, another essential life-sustaining function, is also among the lowest paid jobs in this country, and is frequently conducted by people who don't have basic rights of citizenship.
  8. Climate change is happening due to man-made carbon emissions.  Gases are accumulating, causing heat to become trapped, and the average temperature of the earth is increasing. This is leading to all manor of chaos, including melting glaciers, extreme storms, and drought.  White guys who would lose money if we slowed down our carbon emissions argue about whether this is actually happening, ignoring the data.  Individuals can do little to stop this.  We change our lightbulbs, buy fuel efficient cars, and recycle what we can, but without major government regulation, our efforts are insignificant.
  9. Young unarmed black men get shot by police routinely for minor infractions.
  10. It's become acceptable that profit is the only metric by which business success is judged.  Worker health, safety, satisfaction, and security, environmental concerns, and community health aren't part of the equation.
  11. Several thousand people have died in Africa from Ebola.  One person has died in the US from Ebola.  
  12. There are violent conflicts over land, resources, religion, and power throughout the world.
  13. Millions of people get up every day, are good to their families and friends, love their children almost more than they can bear, and strive to be decent and kind in their dealings with one another.
  14. Oh, and this.  A giant rock was unearthed at a construction site the other day.  
  15. People continue to search for the words, "Canned Ham", and land on my blog by way of that search term every day.


  1. Pretty much sums it all up, sugar.
    Which is why I don't listen to the news either.

  2. Unfortunately this is the world and hiding from the news is not going to change anything. But drowning in the news is just as bad. It is all about balance and writing your leaders.

  3. You're so right about the news, but at the same time, there are so many good people doing good things, and they don't get on the news most of the time, that I have to remain optimistic about the future.

    I can understand the "ham" because you are dang funny, but canned? Really?

  4. I limit myself to a newscast a week. Reduces stress.

  5. I fucking LOVE the giant rock. I'm not kidding. The giant rock made my day and I hope I dream about it tonight. Drill bits broken-well, dude, OF COURSE. The giant rock is bigger, more awe inspiring and possibly the original rock of ALL TIME. Religions have been based on less. I want a giant rock tee-shirt for Xmas. (industries sprang up around the GR (giant rock.

    Love your adoring rock lovin' fan

  6. Yep, the rock story rocks. I've noticed myself tuning out the news lately too. About once a week I check in. It's like a soap opera. You never have to watch it everyday to catch up.

    Rob Breszsny often helps me with the toxicity of it all.

    "HYPOTHESES: Evil is boring. Cynicism is idiotic. Fear is a bad habit. Despair is lazy. Joy is fascinating. Love is an act of heroic genius. Pleasure is your birthright. Receptivity is a superpower." That's from his book Pronoia.


  7. Wow. two posts in two days?!??! How did we get so lucky?

    You sum it all up beautifully, and depressingly. My news appetite has been off for awhile as well.

  8. You have gotten it exactly right, sadly.
    Thank goodness for # 13.

  9. I can only hope that when I write imaginary comments to your wonderful posts that you know what I was trying to say :)
    This post really struck a nerve with me, because it is so true. The news just keeps repeating itself, and most of it is awful.
    And the giant rock? I thought I kept up on all the news but I missed this one, and I'm with Beth, I LOVE the giant rock. It should be made into a park or a shrine, it is awesome. So are you.

  10. If I read this every few days, I'll be totally in the know!


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