On route to dinner out by myself tonight (on my night out), I turned on CBC radio, which is a luxury I enjoy during the times I have no children in my company. I'm one of those people who would love to have the radio on all day as a background to the regular household cacophony, but I just can't trust that when the news bits come on they won't be too horrifying for my children to listen to. And so these days, it's only when I'm by myself that I turn on the radio. Quite frankly, even when it's just me listening, I often wonder why I even bother to turn on the news...it's just depressing.
On the six o'clock news today there was not one positive piece of news announced. Not one. Here were the highlights as I recall them:
* flooding and evacuations and drownings and the prospect of these situations continuing
* a murder trial in Florida and the protests that were staged prior to bringing this situation to trial
* the RCMP probe into Senate expenses to determine whether public funds have been misused
* explosion of a factory in Quebec and two dead
* the questionable judgment of a top Canadian politician who stayed with friends at an official residence overseas while not on public business
* graduating students face the prospect of never-ending unemployment, even with multiple post-secondary degrees
* a celebrity died
* the prospect of extinction of one in eight breeds of birds throughout the world, including many common types (such as the Swallow), due to loss of habitat.
Every one of these items deserved to make the news (with the possible exception of the celebrity death) and I feel a need to be conscious, at least at a basic level, of what's going on in my community, country and world. I don't begrudge these things from making the news - they're important and I feel deeply the sorrows that seem to surround us. But perhaps it's because I feel that sorrow so deeply that I struggle with listening to the news these days. I left the house tonight really looking forward to an evening on my own - I was cheerful and optimistic and smiling at perfect strangers. By the time I reached my destination fifteen minutes later, I was depressed and a little panicky, and wondering why I brought children into our lives when we're all doomed by corruption, evil, abuses of our environment, and natural disasters. It was a what's-the-point-in-living-I may-as-well-throw-my-hands-up-in-despair kind of feeling.
I'm just looking for some balance from our news reporters. What about all of the great things that are happening in this community, in our country, around the world?? Surely there are some. I know there are many.
The radio's off now and it will stay off for the rest of the night. I want to enjoy my night out - dinner and a movie sound like pretty much the only good news to think about tonight.