May your news be fearmongering news, and good night

Friday 29 February 2008

This will probably sound like Australia is some kinda crazy giant country town, a throwback to 50 years ago, to some of you Northern Americans when I tell you what the radio reports as news here. We routinely have reports of people who have been murdered, which probably would strike those of you who live in cities where there are too many murders to mention quite strange. And whenever I hear something like that reported, it doesn't fearmonger me but reminds me of how peaceful and safe this country is (at least, down on the eastern seaboard).

But today's news was bizarre even according to Australian standards. Granted, I was listening to a Geelong radio station. Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria, my state, with around 200,000 living in the urban centre of the city. But still, the fifth or so news story today was a report about a man who injured himself in a work-related injury. It was something as ludicrous as stabbing himself with a nail-gun or something. The end of the story was an admonishment from the talking head from the government department, WorkSafe, that even though the injury was relatively minor, care should be taken because even minor injuries can cause long-term misery. Why is that news? I don't need to be admonished like a child to be careful. I'm tired of being admonished to be careful. We're all so full of care that we're boring ourselves to death.

What constitutes the news? Sheesh, guys, talk about science or something. Or about how relatively peaceful we are that crap like this gets reported. You're a regional area. Tell me how the cows are going. Tell me something to spin me out for the next few minutes. Tell me about what's going on in the Northern Territory, where Aboriginal communities are falling apart and have been for years. But don't tell me about the bloke with the nailgun being a dick. 'Cause that's just not news. That's just stuff.


  1. ...and now thanks to Sue that nailgun story has gone to the four corners of the globe. lol

  2. Sue, the experience of news and media of all kinds is even made worse and more numbing to us all because of the dizzying dance between fearmongering and manipulation. I'm not interested anymore.

    Check this out:

  3. Stu - yes, I thought about that when I was writing it :) (Not that I have, like, a readership of millions, but just drawing attention to it ... draws attention to it :)

    Kent - that was a really well done piece. I'm not interested anymore. Even better - I'm not affected by it. Neither the fearmongering nor the manipulation to purchase affect me anymore. It's like I've been inoculated against it now. It's very cool.

  4. I have a total love/hate relationship with the news. Soft news stories like the dumb-ass with the nail gun bug me. But then again, hard news can be so awful that I often need to break from it for days at a time. There are times when I feel as though I should be more concerned with what is going on with this planet - daily - but I'm pretty protective of my sanity.

    OK, admission time: I seriously thought your country was about the size of Texas until about a year ago when Patti filled me in otherwise. Typical U.S. citizen thinking we bigger than we are! Probably totally stoned during Geography class (years ago). Talk about being a dumb-ass!

  5. Dream - I just don't know why the powers that be decide that the news we need to hear is all the bad stuff going on ... not that there's not a place for that, but their emphasis is totally skewed. Thank God for the internet.

    Yeah, we're slightly bigger than Texas :)

    I should have got totally stoned during Geography class too - because it was so damn boring! The way they taught it, I may as well have been off my dial, because I haven't retained anything, just a dim memory of my teacher and the strange way she said the phrase "the earth's surface" :)


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