You won’t believe this, but you simply have to. It’s right there in the Kansas police records…!
A fugitive who took a couple hostage in their home is now suing them for $250,000. The accused murderer, Jesse Dimmick, claims the couple “Accepted his knife-point offer of money to hide in their house, but the couple later breached their oral contract by escaping while he slept. As a result, he was shot in the back by authorities and has accrued large medical expenses.”
The celebrated social satirists — Will Rogers [1930s] and Mort Sahl [1960s] — based their comedy routines on the same opening line: “I only know what I read in the papers.” Today they would have to add TV, Cable, and Blogs; but the premise is still the same. Virtually everything we know and talk about with one another is what we read or see in the media.
Here’s my problem. Virtually everything we see and read there is hardly worth knowing let alone talking about.
Yes, yes, weather forecasts, traffic reports, stock markets, yesterday’s scores, current medical warnings — yes, these can probably be called news-you-can-use. But have you ever tracked and tallied this stuff? I mean really, how much of it is worth knowing by lunchtime tomorrow…? You might counter by pointing to the in-depth reportage from the media’s best editors, columnists. economists and social observers. I quickly grant there are those. And yet when is the last time you’ve NOT been able to guess the same recurring subjects to their reporting! Terror threats …Middle East threats …China Threats…Energy threats …Civil Rights threats…Crime threats. Closer to home: Problems with our politicians…our taxes…our schools…our gangs …our cops…our clergy…oh and of course Angeline & Jennifer.
The problem, dear citizen, is not in our stars but in ourselves. Somehow we’ve come down through the ages deciding the bad stuff is the stuff that counts. The stuff we must concern ourselves with at the water cooler, over dinner and at the club. Meanwhile, much of the other stuff gets taken for granted.
Say the birds singing in grand chorales outside our morning window, the youngsters hop-scotching down our blocks, the early-day truck crews making the rest of our day possible, the veined hands of our community seniors beginning another day in which the rest of us might learn from them, the dim roar of jets overhead bringing remarkable new people and ideas into our city, and to be sure that symphony of sights and sounds from our verdant parks and boulevards and lake shore.
A thought. Each of them will still be worth talking about by lunchtime tomorrow.
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