Daily Prompt Ripped from the Headlines Click over to whatever website you visit most frequently to get news. Find the third headline on the page. Make sure that headline is in your post.
“And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, – we need never read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
This is my general principle regarding the news. I read Walden first in high school, in the midst of endless arguments about Vietnam, free love, youth rebellion, marijuana legalization, LSD etc. etc. Once I read it, I stopped reading or watching the news. That did not stop the arguments, though. My mother had an obsession with 1) starting fights and 2) keeping up with current events. “Don’t you want to know what’s going on in the world?” Anyway, I took Thoreau’s philosophy as my own.
Mom wanted me to be a news reporter. I wanted to be the news. She gave me a typewriter when I graduated from high school. Years later, a precious friend who had been an international news correspondence said mom should have given me a one way ticket to Turkey and told me to write my way home.
But in honor of the Daily Prompt, I looked at the news… Thoreau is still right, though the presentation of the news has changed. The scary stories are now placed (on Yahoo News, anyway) below “Check Out These Cuddly Animals.” Looks like these days, on Yahoo!, warm and fuzzy comes first.
There is also the phenom of the news being “tailored” to the audience — thanks, Google — so I got to read headlines involving retirement, answering the question, “What are Annuities?” and “Early Retirement. You CAN Do It!” Lots of white haired models and older couples holding hands, walking into the sunset, sweaters draped over their shoulders all a scary preppy flashback because that’s what all baby boomers are, right? Old hippies and a preppy flashback? (Je suis l’anarchie)
Disgusted (again) by Yahoo! I cruised over to CNN to see what cow had been run over by what railroad. In these days, it’s what African-American has been shot in the back by a white cop. This time it really does look unequivocally like murder. Yay?
The Duggars are into their second generation of their egoistic contribution to world over-population. Malia Obama has learned to drive and I’m supposed to be curious about who taught her. Iran is playing chicken in the waters around Yemen.
A fascist Another guy has thrown his hat in the ring for 2016. Some people will support him and if you (dear reader, as they said in the 19th century) are one, don’t be offended at my opinion. You wouldn’t even known it if it weren’t for the daily prompt. Politics, like religion, should remain a personal question. I normally hold my beliefs very close to the chest. But if you’re curious, read Plato’s dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, “The Allegory of the Cave.” Generally, Socrates asserts that those best suited to rule, the true philosopher kings, will not seek office, that only egotistical and vain people will seek office and that will be for their own public aggrandisement not for the good of the state or the people in it. True philosopher kings, the best leaders, must be compelled to take on this duty for a period of time.
When the world WANTS my opinion on things and WHEN the world listens and acts according to my opinion, the news might interest me, but, in the meantime, I think I’ll get those tomato plants going and let others work out their visions, delusions and dreams without my help. After all, I have my own to work on! Such as the one that says people will want to read a novel about the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland in the 16th century. Right?