Montreal Radio Blog

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Is the News Depressing?

I try to look at the bright side when preparing my weekly news review, but the news just seems to be terribly bleak most of the time. I guess it's true what they say about no news sometimes being good news. There is just so much negativity and fear and pessimism...

It may seem hard to believe, but bad things have been happening for all of human history. I keep looking back at the week in history and see nothing but wars, floods, earthquakes and plane crashes - just to name a few sad occurrences. We are led to believe by some people in the media that the world has never been worse than it is today, and we are doomed.

We in the "West" who consume all the hype, are pretty well off compared to those who came before us. There were no "good old days" - that is a myth. The only difference now is that the things that were once hidden or never spoken of are out in the open. We seem to have determined after many struggles, what is no longer morally or collectively acceptable behaviour.

The worst message of all is to think that if we somehow turned back the clock and started living like we did 100 years ago, that we would be happier or better off. There is no doubt that the industrial revolution has caused a lot of harm, but without it we would be living in horrible conditions and dying in our 30s. There is a reason a good portion of the world wants to develop into what we’ve got - so that they can escape poverty and misery. The ways and means are an entirely different story. The point is, we are really fortunate to be living in North America in the year 2010 instead of 1810 or even 1910. It is also an example of extreme human arrogance to believe that our collective time on this Earth is meant to be infinite. And I’m not even speaking about religious prophecies...

Another factor that contributes to hysteria is the instant access to misery. Like I mentioned before, history books are filled with natural disasters and tragedy. I'm not talking about interpretive history, but even then we probably weren't as good at collecting accurate facts as we are now. With technology being what it is today, when something happens anywhere in the world, you will likely see it within minutes. Once upon a time, you might not see the images for weeks or even at all. Images are the most powerful communicator, after all.

Or maybe I should just keep looking for a bright side. There may be something to those old Y2K bunkers filled with swine flu vaccine...

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