My oldest is away to a high school club leadership conference. They expect to be back about 11 pm. On a school night. There was no school today for the kids, so she at least won't have to make up missed homework, but the conference is in a city a couple of hours drive away. Sheesh. So I'm waiting up so I can go get her when the school van rolls in to the high school parking lot.
While I wait, I sift the news websites.
The president apparently made some sort of speech about the economy. I didn't bother opening up that link. I've already heard from friends that whatever it was that he said, they don't believe him. Pretty sad when most us can't feel like we can trust our own president.
Apparently there was another mass shooting on a naval base or some such. I didn't bother opening that link either because I felt I knew what I would find - speculation on why the shooting happened, maybe erroneous information because the press hounds jumped on the story too quickly because not even law enforcement had enough of the facts yet, and more of the same lamentations about how the government should or should not react to it. Sadly, I also felt that mass shootings have now become commonplace. That tipping point has been reached. It's going to be more of the same.
There was a time, before the internet, before 24 hour cable news, when news had to be BIG or the local papers or news stations wouldn't bother airing it. There was a time when a newspaper's credibility was part of the reason people bought them - the facts had better be right, had better be presented objectively or people wouldn't give up their hard earned cash to buy it. Sure, there have always been publications with a certain political leaning that everyone could see, but both left and right worked hard at some semblance of journalistic integrity. The really sensational stuff was left for the tabloids and the specialty periodicals that catered to a more particular niche in the market.
Now, I'm seeing "headlines" on major network news shows/websites that formerly were the purview of the questionable yellow journalism that one finds at the supermarket checkout counter. I understand that with a 24 hour news cycle, something has to fill up the empty time/column space; but what is this drivel that they are selling? Celebrity engagements and breakups. Who has their body back after having a baby? Why would I care which movie star is getting a divorce. Why would I want to know about the various "television stars" that are going to clubs and making fools of themselves after having too much to drink?
I remember having to look in the newspaper each week and finding an article to share in 4th grade. We had to decipher the who, what, when, where, how, and why in each article. Often several kids brought the same article. Nowadays, I think we'd not only have to teach kids to find all the "w's" but also to decipher if this is "fluff" or actually "news" that affects how we live. Then again, maybe this "fluff", or should I say, "crap" also affects us. Does it influence us to think only about appearances? Does it tempt us to only look at the salacious, the seedy, the shallow in our society?
God once literally bombed the hell out of Sodom and Gomorrah. He hasn't wiped out this sickening world yet so there must be enough good people in for Him to justify sparing it for a little longer. Makes you wonder though - how bad will it get?
Morose, I know. That's what I get for having to wait up late at night. 90 minutes to go.