The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE TWENTY THREE: This Just In: Bad News
Here is something that has stressed me out in the past few years.
It all started on Sept. 11th, 2001.
I was working and listening to the radio. I was also thinking about the dentist appointment I had later that day.
Then the world split open.
And all I could think about was my wife (at the time) and my six month old baby girl.
For days, that was all I saw on TV. And for days, I thought about the world that my daughter was going to grow up in. Would it get better? Would it get worse?
Over the years, my belief it’s the latter.
I was born December of 1971. I missed out of the days of not worrying about locking your door. One of the things that I felt I had to do when I was old enough was go around to all of the doors and make sure they were locked before going to bed. I remember doing it when I was six. It was built into my DNA. I didn’t care about the news and I had no idea what was going on in the world. But I had to make sure all of the locks were set and the drop bar was in the sliding glass door.
But the world was not as bad then as it is now.
As I got older, watching the news entered into my life more and more. I became dedicated to one particular channel and felt like the news anchors and reporters were people I knew and even some felt like family.
Then after 9/11, it all seemed to change. More horrible news was blasted in front of my eyes. It wasn’t just terrorist and our war on them but it was ‘normal’ people murdering their loved ones, even their children, with what seemed like no remorse.
Riots, road rage incidents, homicides, rape and murder of people of all ages. And I mean ALL ages.
All of this horror was placed in my face every time I turned on the news. And it happens more and more. Has it always been this way? Has there always been so much? Or is the news finding that this sells?
Of course, you can’t blame the media for the horrific things that people do to each other. News or no news, there are always going to be hateful, selfish, ignorant, stupid, evil people in the world. There have always and will be.
The news understands this. And they will make a profit on it.
Most people have the need to see it.
They want to see the car wreak that killed a family of four. They want to see the picture of the guy that shot his eleven year old daughter. They want to see the face of the woman who left her dog in the car in ninety-eight degree heat for two hours. They want to hear the name and back story of the guy that killed dozens of people in a club but not the victims’ names
They want to see the airliner crash into a building. Over and over and over again…..
Odds are, you’re guilty of it.
I can’t be one to point fingers. I have been guilty of it, too.
And it depresses me. To no end.
Is it something built into each one of us? Is it in our DNA to want to rubberneck at a crash that we pass on the road?
Do we want to see pain and death?
My unqualified answer to those questions is yes, as horrible as it is.
Part of us wants to help. We want to be a hero and save the day in some way. And another part of us is glad that it’s not us.
To get back to what I said at the beginning, this is the world of our children, this is the world that my daughter sees. And the world is everywhere now. It’s not just on the TV, but on the radio, Facebook, Twitter, all social media, which in turn, puts it on everybody’s phone or however they get social media and/or the news. It’s in their faces 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I wonder if my parents ever saw something on TV that they wanted to talk to me about. Take, for instance, the serial killer in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981. It was all over the news. I remember it. Even at my age, I kept up with it.
Did my mom or dad want to say something to me about it? Something like, ‘When you go out and play, be careful. Be aware of your surroundings.’? Did they think that since this happened in Atlanta, it couldn’t happen in my town?
Maybe. Being a father, I know that’s hard to bring up the evils of the world. It’s hard to look at your child that you helped raise from a baby to (almost) an adult woman and speak about such worries and frights.
But, you must. You must warn them. Not to scare them but to keep them safe.
That’s the kind of news that they should listen to. The news from you comes from love and caring.
The news of TV only cares about ratings, mostly.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch the news and learn from it. I’m saying you shouldn’t make it your life, you shouldn’t rubberneck the bad news.
August 12th, 2016
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.