Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Health warning

Last Saturday, I realized that I am addicted to something that is hazardous to my health.

I'm a longtime news junkie. After almost six decades of reading the daily newspaper, it finally dawned that the only part that fails to distress or irritate is the comics section. The rest produces a feeling of downright downheartedness.

Not a good way to start the day.

This particular morning was typical. It was a fine spring morning, all sunshine and chirping finches. I made some fresh coffee, and settled in to review the events of the week. That was the best I was going to feel all day.

First, I was treated to the most recent sins of Bev Oda, our federal International Development Minister, for whom excess is not enough. Only the very best of hotels and limousines meet her high standards, cheap at a few thousand taxpayer dollars per day. Reaction: Indignation, then quiet resignation, and a nagging recollection that this was not Bev's first offence.

Bev was closely followed by Mike Ignatieff, erstwhile Liberal candidate for the highest office in this fine multicultural country. Mike went on the BBC to prognosticate that Quebec will exit confederation. Reaction: Head shaking and mumbled epithets.

Close on Mike's heels came Jan Wong. You may remember her as a tough, investigative reporter with an instinct for the jugular, and wondered why she had disappeared several years ago. Turns out she has been suffering from severe depression, and has just published a book on her battle with this debilitating, misunderstood, illness. The grabber for me was the filming of her launch party by her insurance company, hoping to catch a moment when she didn't look sufficiently depressed. Reaction: "What assholes!"

In the sports section, it was confirmed that my beloved Blue Jays had fallen from first to just one game out of worst in their division, having blown a lead to hand Seattle the win in a game I missed. Reaction: Sigh.

And so it went --- uncaring stupidity at city hall, the lackadaisical approach to protecting Canadian investors from corporate fraud, police officers who lie to get a conviction, the likelihood that Canadian athletes unwittingly abetted the massacre of Israelis at the 1972 Olympics, the descent of Spain into economic chaos. Plenty more in similar veins.

A disheartening stream of savage attacks, pompous pronouncements, disheartening revelations, grudging confessions, unconvincing apologies, and outright prevarications.

This, I am convinced, is the chief reason that newspapers are in their death throes. People just can't handle this much crap, let alone pay to have it dumped it on their front porch.


  1. I quite agree. I blunder along in blissful ignorance, it makes for a much happier life!

  2. Could be worse. You could be living in the US and reading OUR news.


  3. I agree..I am no longer informed and am a lot happier!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  4. Hi Annmarie. Welcome to the blog. Always happy to hear from readers.