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I stopped watching the news when I gave up television. I may stop reading it soon as well, simply out of the kind of frustration that elevates my blood pressure and gives me a headache.
The problem is this – about 50% of the news seems to be about things which are utterly meaningless in the face of the state of the world and the planet. When I go to a news page online and half of the front page is devoted to the shenanigans of celebrities and the ranting of ideologues and pundits, along with a bunch of stuff that has zero relevancy to anything at all that makes sense, I just don't see the point anymore. My frustration came to a head when a story about what some talentless reality celebrity is going to name their baby took precedence over a story on how many American states are currently suffering from shortages of clean drinking water. I have ranted about this kind of nonsense to empty air so long I'm utterly exhausted, so I've decided to just throw in the towel and give up.
Excuse me for wimping out, but I just can't take it any more. Seven states are currently facing severe water shortages and 36 states are facing a similar fate within 2013, more service people are committing suicide than are injured or killed in the line of duty, and these stories come after the celebrity and her pregnancy, who is taking over some late night talk show, whether or not the President of the United States can make a 3 point shot in basketball, and what his young daughters are doing for spring break? Really? I honestly don't care what useless celebrity is having a baby with some other useless celebrity or what stupid make-em-up name they plan on giving the kid. I couldn't care less about some late night talk show that caters to the celebrity nonsense. I do think it is a rather alarming crisis to run out of drinking water since if you don't have any you tend to get very sick and even die. I don't care what some loud-mouthed crazy person shouts about who should be allowed to lead the country or get married. I care that young people in the military are killing themselves at a rate that surpasses the combat death rate in 2012. I certainly don't care where the President's daughters go on spring break or whether or not he can make shots from center court. I care about, what, if anything, he plans to do about the water situation and the epidemic of suicides in the military.
Don't get me wrong, I like entertainment as much as the next guy, but not on my front page and not calling itself news. Entertainment is lovely so long as we keep it where it belongs and don't elevate it to some insane level of importance that it does not deserve. No one is likely to care much who is hosting a late night talk show if they can't get a glass of clean water or take a shower. The one thing of which you can be certain is that overpaid celebrities will be able to get a drink even when you can't. I can even tolerate crazy pundits from all sides so long as I have the clear choice to completely ignore them and they don't keep cropping up on the front page as if they were breaking news. Couldn't we just put them in the entertainment section along with the celebrities since they qualify more as showmen than newsmen? That seems fair.
There are such big issues in the world. The climate is crazy, we are facing serious water and food shortages, there are lunatics on the loose running countries with deadly weapons of mass destruction, people are slaughtering other people because they don't read the same book as if we were still living in the Dark Ages, our soldiers are killing themselves because it seems like a better option than whatever they have been doing up until now, and violent, sick people are running around killing school children. Is it just me, or do these issues appear vastly more important than celebrity baby names, how two little girls spend their break time from school, or whether or not the President of the United States could ever compete in the NBA? Maybe it is just me. Maybe my priorities are all askew. Maybe I have a completely bogus definition of what constitutes the news. Maybe if I turn my back on it all it will be the best for everyone. Maybe a useless celebrity will give birth to the savior of the planet. Or not.
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