Maybe I Need a Hug

Saints preserve us, I’m going to talk politics, sort of.  I try not to, because the way people talk politics is so limiting, exclusionary and insensitive I get upset and angry just being exposed to it.  I’m married to an ex-news writer, but I generally ask her to don headphones if she intends to watch news in my presence. I do not watch news.  To me the main news stories are always the same.  Too many of the wrong people are getting richer off those with less power and influence.  Innocent people are getting killed.  Lawmakers are trying to say it’s someone else’s fault we are in this (whatever) mess, when I know it’s everyone’s fault, myself included, because we exist in a process of learning and are just animals that like to pretend our love of complexity and self-delusion makes us better than the other animals.  It never changes.

Facts aren’t particularly involved in the current almost shutdown of the US Government over an inability to pass a budget that’s already half a year late.  If the arguments were factual it would be about the math.  My country spends 48% of what is spent in the entire world on military forces and weapons, way more than any other nation.  We are the ones making war most possible in the world.  There’s a deceitful pretense of an impasse over the costs of Planned Parenthood, NPR, Head Start and other social programs.  The part of the military budget that’s on the books is nearly 700 BILLION, and there’s more available off the books for black ops and emergencies.  War gets a 200-story skyscraper.  Those other programs get a bus stop sign in front of the building.  Give me a break.  It’s not about the money.  Those who say it’s about cutting spending are lying.

I don’t have a lot of faith in the side saying, “Those guys only want to prevent women and the poor from having health care and services” either.  Both major parties get a lot more money from corporations and special-interest groups than from people like me.  Why should I assume they would protect my interests ahead of the wishes of their sugar daddies?  Their track record on doing so is abominable.

Military personnel serve the nation.  I have great respect for their desire to be of service and make important contributions to our safety.  I can’t understand why any of them should be put at risk in foreign conflicts when their missions are not clear, and they aren’t.  Open-ended wars demean their sacrifices.  I’m not sure it is really possible to win any war.  World War II ended 65 years ago.  We still have Nazis.

There’s a gender component to this impasse.  Congress is mostly male, and men try to display dominance and perform more threat behaviors than women do.  If our government was mostly made up of women, I can’t imagine this would be happening.

I’m going to go listen to my wife sing with a community chorus in a concert featuring songs of many kinds on the theme of HOME – what home means, what it’s like to look back when you are away, and how it feels to return.  It’s more important than politics.  Thank God for the arts.

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24 Comments

Filed under debt, Ethics and Morality, Television

24 responses to “Maybe I Need a Hug

  1. I feel you on this one. I know it is not politically correct or personally empowering, but I do not watch the news am not aware of most of the political happenings. If it hits the main channels of the net, I might know about it.

    I find it all so discouraging and sad. I know this is denial. Ignorance is bliss. My energy is limited and I choose to put my efforts elsewhere. I am so appreciative for those who put theirs in this arena to try to make it better. I choose to put my energy into effecting my own world and the world around me in other ways .

    • I’m undecided that it is ignorance we can avoid, because I’ve been close to several real-life TV journalists for many years. The stories are all SO spun and controlled and chopped up for time compression. It’s hard to be able to see the truth from between the lines.

      I would rather stand with you, Debbie. Heal yourself, and in doing so, heal the rest of the world. That will always be more important.

      (I like your new avatar, too.)

  2. I think the sooner everyone realises that *every single thing* we see in the media is “spun” … from the top of the News right down to the advertising product on the edge of the page or screen.
    It may not be a blatant lie but a mixture of:
    – omission of the truth,
    – skewing of the facts,
    – appealing to the masses
    – a learning towards a particular opinion
    – a bundle of half truths
    …in order to make a presentation of the item /”news product” and to “sell” it to the public in its best light.
    I constantly ask myself “Why is that if you scan the major newspapers the western world that the top ten stories are mostly duplicates of each other, not just the headline but also the silly/happy/ soft story about the dog that can skateboard, the parrot who can sing God save the Queen etc?
    Why, when we have such diversity in our countries is there so little diversity in our News?”
    Yes *of course* a natural disasters like New Zealand or Japan gets big coverage, but even then, there is often so much hype/ sensationalism /speculation before the “facts” start coming out… I heard many reports of “victims estimated to be in the tens of thousands” when the search and rescue efforts were barely into the co ordination stage.

    Then the same 5 sentences are repeated in 50 different ways and repeated on a loop because they have nothing else to go on for the next 10 hours.
    I know people want to know, but do 800 reporters have to turn up to all say the same thing? Every heard of translators?

    For every major news event it’s the same, and so long as the “masses” (myself included) are blinded to the fact that they are being treated like little children where certain people take on the role of “parent” and ” only tell the kids what they need to know” then nothing will ever change.

    I’m not paranoid about the media, but I do try and temper it with a hearty dose of realism and common sense.
    …and come here Mikey, I have a Hug to give you :)

  3. Pie

    You could be speaking about my country!

    Something that happened to me in Canary Wharf last weekend and a video I watched on Facebook this morning has crystallised for me everything that’s wrong with our society at the moment. If I find the time, I will try and write about it this week.

    Debbie. It’s important to work on making a difference in your immediate area and to develop yourself. The changes in themselves may appear to be small, but the ripple effect will be huge and your efforts will have created that.

    Art, in all its forms, is the thing to bind us, to relieve us, to make us happy and to make us think. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who doesn’t think art is important is already dead. If I didn’t have these outlets, among many others, I’d be building up my anger at the injustices of this world like a pressure cooker and my head would eventually explode.

    Hugs to you, sir.

    • Thanks, Pie. I do feel better. However, I’ve seen Parliamentary debates on a channel we have called C-Span. The MPs speak in complete sentences, with correct grammar. You are right that much of the same misguided morality regarding war and peace is present, but your country does not seem to be devolving into the same kind of sheer idiocy over nonsense issues like birth certificates or whether or not the President is a “secret mooslim”. You have at least some robust pushback in the streets against recent moves to eliminate national subsidies for students and the arts. By comparison, we write misspelled letters to the editor and post hate speech responses on blogs, in between bites of over-salted, processed fast “food”.

      My response is to work less and do more meditation and exercise. Though I will still get stamped, filed, indexed, briefed, debriefed and numbered, I intend to continue the practice of invisibility and create unseen anonymous positive effects in small places Big Brother forgets to watch.

      • Pie

        Yes, Mikey! Unseen virtue brings visible reward.

        “The MPs speak in complete sentences, with correct grammar.” That sentence made me laugh out loud. There may be complete sentences and correct grammar in Blighty, but they still speak the same old s**t.

  4. I need a hug too. It’s a long story. Been thinking of writing about it. Just need to find energy. Take care, Michael.

  5. Reminds me of my second favorite line from Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. Throughout the book, whenever someone would watch, listen to, or read the news, “The world situation was desperate as usual.”

  6. Oh, but Mickey – this is what we call “civilisation”, don’t you know? Between your words and Mark’s this mroning, I’m seriously considering finding a cave somewhere and withdrawing from “civilisation” completely.

  7. Very piercing! I don’t watch news either and I’m not a big fan of funding the military. Caves are just my style. And I do my best to focus my energy in whatever small ways might make a difference for others and the world. Thanks for your clarity.

    • My clarity is on loan from the universe, obtained through conduits like you, Sandra. (That book you recommended is having an effect. Maybe I CAN look at the gubmint without blowing my top!)

  8. Sara

    Wow, I dont watch news for the same reasons. I want truth not sensationalism. But goodness, I had no idea other people also take this stand. (And intelligent well spoken artists at that) Im used to being the odd man out on the news watching. Mind if I pull up a chair and stay a while?

    The thing which most bothers me is people get to repeating the news amongst themselves like its some kind of mantra to be preached and affirmed. That kind of ‘negative speaking’ just ushers it in even faster.

    We all need to spread more of as you say, “unseen anonymous positive effects.”

    • Thanks, Sara. It made me smile to see you quote the title of my very first post. The most recent positive effect was to “mrow” at one of my own kitties while reading your comment. She answered of course.

    • Agree, agree. What ever happened to real reporting? Everything seems to be opinion these days, presented as reporting. Naturally I am thinking of my own frustration at Emotive Reporting, but that is just one tiny example.

      I never believe anything I read any more. Interestingly, Clint Eastwood said the same thing in the interview I watched yesterday. Maybe this is a view we come to more as we mature? (Note I avoided the use of “get old”)

  9. I still think the folks wanting to shut down Planned are a bunch of .
    It’s about abortion, but instead takes away healthcare from at risk women.

  10. Pingback: I Cannot Detach Myself « *POSITIVE PROVOCATIONS*

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