As you may have notice, lately I’ve been trying to write humor. Something to just cheer people up.
I look at the online news (CNN, FoxNews, NBCNews, etc.) and they are full of nothing but doom and gloom. Worse still, the stories that are real downers stay on their pages for exceptionally long times. It’s like they’re trying to milk tragedy for all it’s worth.
I know that the media believes, “If it bleeds – it leads.” Murder, for example, is going to make the headline on page 1 of the newspaper, while the good things (if they’re lucky) will end up on the middle page of the Sunday “Living” section next to the ad for hearing aids.
Therefore, if you want to be famous – kill somebody. Otherwise, if you’re really lucky and work real hard, you’ll end up with the hearing aids.
The media isn’t going to change. Sadly, they’re not going to wake up one morning to overpowering guilt and shame, repent and try to do good things. However, they ignore the fact that long term, this is not an effective tactic.
The most experienced practitioners of these practices, the print media, are dying off. It used to be that cities would have two or three daily newspapers. If something extraordinary happened, they actually would stop the presses and print an extra edition. The cliché newspaper boy shouting, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” actually was real.
Today most cities have one and only one newspaper, and even those are at risk. It’s no wonder – the newspaper delivers the exact same information as what was on the internet the day before. Whatever the “wire services” (aka The Associated Press) decides to send out will be on CNN today and tomorrow in the morning newspaper – often word for word.
Of course, most people already got the “tweet” and so even CNN is providing second hand news.
News magazines are practically a novelty. If you’ve got a copy of Newsweek, put it in an acid free plastic sleeve and save it with your pristine copy of “Amazing Fantasy #15″ (the comic book in which Spiderman first appeared.) The printed Newsweek may also become a collectors’ item.
Interestingly, not all magazines are at risk. I look forward to my monthly “Smithsonian,” “National Geographic,” and my technical magazines. Why? Because they make me think and they make me smile. My wife and I have real live interesting intellectual discussions about articles in “Smithsonian.”
“Make” magazine is full of things from basement inventors and weird and wonderful projects. Want to play around with a 3 dimensional printer – “Make” is the place to start. How about programming a credit card sized computer that costs around $30 to automatically water your plants? “Make” again.
Our kids love to learn, as did we when we were kids.
“Help me learn to ride a bicycle!”
“I want to take gymnastics!”
“Can you teach me some magic tricks?”
“Can I try soldering?”
My son recently asked us to teach him how to wash his clothes. I don’t expect that he’ll regularly take on this chore, but he was proud of himself for learning – as well he should.
This world is full of wonder and potential. It was designed and handmade by God himself. No subcontractors. No shoddy workmanship. “…and He saw that it was good.”
There’s lots of good stuff to learn and enjoy, and that’s what I’m going to focus.
Anybody with me?