Can we handle it?

Looking at the world  at this point is very bewildering to me.

Listening to the news on the radio or TV is not what one could call a cheerful pastime.

Actually the TV makes it more non-appetizing than the radio. The almost daily show of yellow police tape indicating a crime or bad accident scene without knowing who is involved or ever hearing of it again is to me a waste of time. To see where people are dying or have died in plane crashes, by suicide bombers, natural or unnatural disasters, diseases, war and what ever else one can think of is too much to handle.

Watching the news reminds me of the war when I walked around numb and insensitive to the danger and whatever was happening around me.

Now I feel insensitive and overwhelmed by what I see on the news. I never thought there would be a day that I could look at human suffering with such indifference.

At one time I felt guilty about feeling that way, now I think there is so much misery happening and help needed all over the world that both the source of my tears and donations have dried up.

The way the  media, especially TV, presents news should be heart breaking, but what’s heart breaking is the way it is presented.

People crying by a mass grave, immediately followed by totally unfitting music or an add for hair spray or lipstick is insensitive and disrespectful.  Advertisers pay for these often sex oriented ads and that seems to give them the right to have an ad placed regardless of circumstances.

I think that is very regrettable because it makes me think that disrespect and indifference have the same value as hairspray or any other product in the eyes of TV stations and their advertisers.

It should not surprise me because money seems to be the only value in a world that has gone bankrupt on moral, social and environmental standards.

Even the pretense of other values seem to be floating in a cosmic reality existence.

The God-like status symbol of our society the  “Car” is getting competition from the cell phone.

The newest wonder phones are actually small computers and video cameras with sound that can do anything a big computer can do and oh yes, it still can be used as a phone.

The cost of one of these (have to get things), is around $500. The fanfare on the media before this wonder thing came on the market overshadowed items that should have been on the news.

I am thinking of  events like the occupation of the government building in Wisconsin for three weeks by an average part of the population including police, teachers, fireman, government workers etc. and the massive protest marches in Los Angeles.

The time spent covering these events was less than the  time spent on ads for an hour.

Product advertising allowed during the news is bad enough, but when it takes up at least one third of the news time (that all too often is creating disrespect and indifference), one has to wonder what we have to pay for if we want to see some kind of news.

In the mean time we watch a sexy bikini clad lady dancing around selling whatever, that is immediately followed by a fireman crying because he lost his whole family.

We can handle this emotional roller coaster ride towards indifference and disrespect in our stride, or can we?

Bert de Vink’s a long-time Quesnel resident who wrote for the Cariboo Observer from the mid 80’s to the late 90’s. The Observer is pleased de Vink once again decided to put pen to paper.