Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crisis de jure

I am frequently bewildered by the ferocity and energy of the 24 hour news cycle. When News stations had a half hour an evening they tended to stick to "hard news" and were usually covering stuff that mattered -- we might debate how they covered it but generally it was information that was recognized as important. There were newspapers that tried to tell the news in written form so you could read it at your leisure. Nobody screamed at us.
Now everything has to be a catastrophe, a crisis, an Armageddon. This is not to say that the economic situation, ABMs 100th day, or swine flu is not important. It is to say that when the news channels have an enormous financial stake in keeping us watching there is a tendency to present things as more critical and more important than they actually are. All the air time devoted to the Octo-mom would be a prime example of this. I don't need television to have a game of "spot the loony", I can play that game on my own in my own time just by wandering around town for a while.
I think we could create a real crisis . . . stop watching the TV news channels and see what happens. Between the declining revenue streams and declining advertising dollars we might see some of the hysteria for what it is . . .
I choose NOT to be afraid. Whenever there is a visitation of God in the Bible (generally an angel) the first words of the angel are "do not be afraid". When Jesus appears to the disciples on the first Easter evening he says "do not be afraid." I am convinced that the opposite of faith is not doubt (doubt is good, healthy and keeps us seeking); the opposite of faith is fear.
Turn off the news, look around you, trust, pray and above all else . . . do not be afraid.
dr. bj

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