In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

THE DAILY SCARE

I think news media should cut the crap and tell it like it is.  Every day, for a long, long time, we have had a National Health Service scare story, some justified by facts and others drawn from 'surveys', 'studies', 'predictions' and 'expert opinions', not to mention blatant spin and mischief.  Now, we have a daily scare story concerning Brexit (probably the most irritating, horrible word to worm its way into the English language) and the pros and cons of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.  We have had everything on this in a few short months from the image of a glorious independent paradise to Armageddon.

Add to these two obsessions regular stories about climate change, obesity, animal-to-human disease threats and all sorts of other ballyhoo (extending the Ides of March to the whole twelve months of the year) and it won't be long before we are all issued with our own personal handcarts and the sat-nav coordinates to Hell.

So, stop the drip, drip, drip brainwashing stuff and just be upfront about the mission to scare.

Produce a newspaper called The Daily Scare.

Change the name of BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to The Scare Programme.

Launch The One O'Clock Scare, The Six O'Clock Scare, Scares at Ten, the Scare Forecast.....you get my drift.

I used to love watching and listening to news programmes and panels discussing current affairs.  I used to buy a daily paper and five on a Saturday and five on a Sunday.  A couple of years ago, I stopped buying any papers, with very occasional exceptions if there really was a story of interest to me.  I stopped this waste of time and money about three years ago.  I could feel a liquefying of my cerebral cortex.

Now, I scan for a matter of minutes a couple of news websites but it's mainly bite-size headline stuff.  I can't bear the blether, blah and bull that seems to accompany news stories.  The old saying is true - opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one.  Now, it's not just one opinion, it's an avalanche assisted and encouraged by social media.  I'm as guilty as anyone as I have been sucked into this global forum of good, bad and ugly content.

The only saving grace with sound and vision media is the wonder that is the remote control.  I can shut this scare stuff off with a simple click.  But I know in my heart that somewhere, there is a sinister organisation working to limit what a remote control can actually zap.  It is not inconceivable to think that one day turning off news and propaganda will be forbidden.

Scary, ain't it?


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