I'm wondering who, besides me, sits in their cubicles and reads the news. From time to time I do, and some days I get so DEPRESSED that I want to die.
This has led me to the conclusion that the news is the devil. Once upon a time I wrote about the devil room in the house Stoker and I bought -- which we converted to a harvest yellow in an attempt to overcome its natural gloom. So, I'm very familiar with the devil. The devil likes things to be black and dark and depressing. The devil room was black and dark and depressing . . . and it sucked the light out of the world. It took grueling hours of work to exorcise the demon and make the room livable and friendly and . . . yellow. Honestly? I wish the room wasn't yellow now. I'm probably going to have to go back and paint it again. Maybe a nice, flat black.
Anyway, the point is, I was sitting here, depressed as hell, when it dawned on me that the news is the devil, and I wanted to share this revelation with the masses, not that they'll listen, because . . . well, they're the masses and I'm not Bono or Oprah. And I guess it depends on your definition of devil. Mine is this: the devil ruins my life; the devil makes me want to give up; the devil robs me of hope; the devil makes me do my worst because I'm no good anyway.
Sound familiar? It sounds like a chant. Like I'm writing terrible lyrics to a heavy metal riff. Maybe that's why it sounds familiar. In any case, why do I read the news? I've been learning to cope with the daily onslaught of horrors, but some days they're just too terrible. Like today. Here's a sampling of stuff I read: babies in China dying because of poisoned formula; man on trial for brutally beating his ex-girlfriends' cat to death; woman still searching for her husband who disappeared over a year ago in Iran; Finnish guy murdering college students; E! online writing "obvi" to mean "obviously" (you can see why this one is so upsetting).
Ok, I don't mean to contribute by sharing the horrors myself. But I must be a masochist because I keep going back. And if I was more of an optimist, maybe I'd see more hope in those stories, hope for man's redemption or something, that there is still goodness in people, that they're all trying, they're all doing the best they can, that sometimes good people just get misled. The news doesn't cover that part of the story, and why would they? Sensationalism is what sells, right?
These days journalists suck. They have twenty seconds to pump out a story and thus their writing is awful and the stories are chopped up to fit the sensational tripe that attracts viewers. They have no pride in their stories. It's a news-mill. So what we end up with is a skewed perspective of the world and how it's doing. It feels like hell out there if we listen to the media, but it is it really any different than it's ever been?
At first I was sort of joking about calling the news the devil. I thought it would be funny to sound very fundamental, like an I-live-in-a-compound-with-my-religious-compatriots zealot that the news LOVES to crucify. I don't. That is to say, I obviously read the news and participate in the machinery of our great over-newsed society and so I'm clearly not one of THEM. I'm a news junkie. It's in my blood, I need a fix often, I've fallen prey to the CNN drug cartel. I can't believe this crap is legal. And now I realize I'm right. The news IS the devil.
Quite honestly, I do believe in a fallen angel named, variously, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Mephistopheles, Ned Flanders, etc. I think it's important to remember the things unseen that have the power to sway us, including the Internet. Can you see it? No! You see a manifestation of it, this page for example, is not real. It's ephemeral. You would not be able to touch it if you tried. It's unreal, yet its effects on you are real. Right now you may be livid with rage that someone might suggest that there is such thing as a fallen angel or that the news does more negative than positive in our society because you worship at the altar of the holy fount of CNN. Proving my point, this page is nothing. It's an idea, and yet it has the power to influence you. The most real and powerful things in our world are the unreal, the unseen. Think about it. (Yes, yes, so true, I am a genius philosopher.)