Whenever someone tells me they have good news and bad news, I always ask for the bad news first. I figure if the bad news brings me down, the good news will bring me back up. Unfortunately, that requires the good news to be commensurate to the bad news in order to swing the pendulum. Now, let’s be honest…in this day and age, when is the good news as good or better than the bad news?
Most evening news programs (at least the one I watch) have the same formula. They spend 20 of their 22 minutes inundating you with the insanity and chaos of the world, the dissension and divisiveness, and they make you feel like the small kid on the other side of the seesaw, teetering on the edge, about to get a hard whack on your bum.
So the news inundates you with bad vibes and then spends the last :90 of their broadcast to show you something that’s supposed to lift you up and make your heart swell…Or at least lessen the damage those previous 20 minutes did to your psyche. It’s an admirable attempt.
Every morning I check Twitter or watch the morning news shows to see what happened in the world while I was trying to sleep. A good amount of it is bad news, and people recognize that. Lest we forget the 2016 “dumpster fire” gifs, the memes, and the “How can this year get any worse?” tweets just as another horrible occurrence or yet another beloved celebrity’s death was announced.
The propensity to say, “The world is horrible, but here’s some good news” is what (I assume) led to sites like GoodNewsNetwork and Soul Pancake. They’re both fun sites, and they at least give you one hearty chortle to carry you throughout your day.
And don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate these sites and their contributors. People try to help with their injection of “Yes, this world is garbage, but here’s something lovely to at least attempt to restore your faith in humanity.” This is usually done with animal photos. Here’s an example:
As wonderful as otters are (let’s be honest, they’re just sea weasels, but CUTE sea weasels), their adorable antics won’t protect us from nuclear fallout. I mean, if Basher was right about a nuclear bomb, it’d cause an EMP to knock out all our devices, and we wouldn’t even be able to LOOK at otter photos and videos during nuclear fallout. AHHH! That’s it! Print out ALL the cute photos of otters, puppies, kittens, and any other animal you deem cuter than humanity, because, let’s be honest, humanity is pretty freaking ugly right now!
But then you get stories like The Donut Boy…A kid named Tyler who wants to buy donuts for all the police officers in the country to say, “Thank you for your service.” That’s an “Awww” moment!
But then it makes you think about cops in the U.S. and the disproportionate rate at which unarmed African American males are shot and killed by police, and the pendulum swings back to “The world sucks! Let’s go all Phoenix Force and blow this shit up!”
On the other hand (How many hands are we up to now? Are we Zaphod Beeblebrox?), I know people who don’t watch the news at all. Some do it to quell their own anxieties about the world. Others do it because they prefer not to turn into a misanthropic asshole. I…can’t do that. Not the misanthropic asshole part, because we all know I have that inside me, but the not watching news part. I have to be informed, even if it does nothing but make me miserable. It’s not healthy, I know.
And look, I don’t have an answer for any of this. The whole, “Life gives you lemons, make lemonade” philosophy is great…if you have sugar and water. If not, you’re stuck with lemons. BUT…that’s not a terrible thing, either. Lemons are full of Vitamin C and have other great health benefits. Yay for no scurvy!