We Hear So Many Loud And Angry VoicesJuly 23, 2012 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
For the people that know me, I try very hard to look for the story within the story. I guess I am saying that as a disclaimer today. It was one thing I was really good at back when I was a reporter and, honestly, I’m proud of it.
There is a great deal of noise in the news right now.
It is deafening.
And the white hot static that accompanies it is valid, but not always helpful, because we like the outrage to be attached to news these days. We have made reporters entertainers to a large degree – no different than the days of sensationalistic Photoplay magazine that my grandmother saved in her shed outside her small home. Yet, that is only part of it, because there is no going back to what was. I believe it is more about looking at what is and how it can be made better.
Can we do better? I falter, because I think so, but …
I think we can, but we don’t. We are too involved in the noise of today’s world.
It is extremely important that people get the news of what is important. What I might think is crucial may not mean a pile of beans to someone else, and I understand that. For me, it’s about civil rights, treating people fairly, understanding policy that impacts every community – large or small – in this country and using some common sense.
Our nation’s elected officials do not govern now. They just don’t.
The environment doesn’t allow it, because national – and even sometimes local news – is in a tsunami mode. Political conversations about jobs become soundbites, but little action happens. The fact that employment is a bit better – but still atrocious – misses the reality that what we hear, nationally at least, is rhetoric without soul nor meat and potatoes. We need less of a circus with tamed lions jumping through hoops and a ringmaster leading the show. We require more accurate information going out to every American citizen. We don’t need tame lions; we need people with vision. Occasionally we need people that calm the storm, and then other times, we need Titans.
And we need leaders that govern, and regular citizens picking up the slack back at home. It is easy to be angry. Hell, I am angry, but if we can speak civilly to each other and try to figure out what makes the most sense for moving forward. Otherwise, we will just keep yelling in tunnels where no one can hear what we are saying.
The good old days where not necessarily that good. We had people go to jail for being gay. We made black Americans drink from separate water fountains. Those citizens, based on color, had little or no rights. We saw women put out to pasture, after they kept so much of this country rolling in WWII. The list goes on and on. Honestly, we have different versions of that happening now. And it is heinous. (Please, please go to that link.)
Yet we yell, but what are we doing? What actions are we taking?
There was the promise, though that we would get better. Just because I ask a question means it is simply a question. Did we get better?
Did we get damned better?
Have we, in some ways? Yes, but there is still the reality that Dr. Seuss wrote about in “The Sneetches.” Us and them, baby. If you can’t control folks, you make them want what they can’t have or confuse the hell out of them. Pres. Harry Truman talked about this more than one once 60 years ago.
James Holmes, Timothy McVeigh and Col. Russ Williams are terrible folks. Even Robert Glen Coe, who killed in my home county and I covered later as a reporter, is evil. There isn’t any doubt that there are evil people in our world. They should create room for debate on how to fix the problems as best we can, because no one knows what goes into any individual’s mental state. However, it shouldn’t create an ongoing fear to annihilate people who think differently than you might. I’m not talking about these killers; I’m talking about average folks.
I’m pro Second Amendment. My family has owned guns all my life, but I don’t see how you can hunt with an assault weapon. And these weapons of mass destruction are as easy to buy as a pack of gum. There are crazy people in this world, but dammit, not everyone is nuts. What sane person needs an assault rifle?
So the noise is loud. The distractions are everywhere. We read of side boobs on Huffington Post. TMZ and the National Enquirer are breaking stories.
Our local newspapers are going behind paywalls, limiting access to pertinent news to those who don’t subscribe. If you live in Chattanooga, are you going to pay for the Commercial Appeal? If you live in Nashville, are you going to pay for the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle?
We end up blowing our limited free articles on major newspapers early each month, because they are behind paywalls. So many people forget that they are burning this up when the links are on Facebook and Twitter. To my friends, don’t link behind paywalls because not everyone will be able to see the stories all the time.
This is the new issue we are looking at with social media. I think we might want to look at not linking to paywalls when we link on Facebook and Twitter.
The bottom line, not only in Tennessee but all across America, is where do we find the news impacting out personal lives, the main things that are important to our lives and which are important to our families and our friends and the people we don’t know yet.
Everything is relative. Celebrity and politics, yet where does real life fit in? And people who kill, where does this go? We have become the Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; yet no one talks about it.
What is the policy of our communities that affect us. I don’t mean celebrity stories and political soundbites that really don’t matter?
And, many times – even online – we become statistics instead of people. We want. We don’t get. We fight and struggle, and then many of us just give the hell up.
photo credit from @juleegrl on Twitter via Rep. Mike Turner on Facebook