I cried over a soccer game today. I’m glad the US is still in the running for the cup, or whatever it’s called, but I would not presume to know enough about soccer to say more than that. The fact that I call it soccer probably proves it. Honestly, I don’t think my tears of joy had anything to do with their victory.
I just needed some good news.
The news business is about viewers and readers. The bigger the audience, the higher the ad rates. And nothing brings in the audience like dirty laundry. The circus of the media has us obsessed with the worst in ourselves and skeptical of or, sadly, bored by the best that we can be.
Celebrity wannabes rush their sex tapes into production rather than hurrying to acting class. Politicians use dirty tricks to obstruct progress and lies to catch the attention of the jaded electorate instead of trying to help people or fix a broken system. Publishers are glutted with the memoirs of those with the dirtiest secrets, even if they have to make them up. And the couches on the talk shows are crowded by those with something bad to say. Producers, voters, publishers, agents and bookers choose the best known, not the best. The only other big news of the US soccer team came when they got cheated out of a win.
Despite the fact that we live in an age of penicillin and everyday miracles, all we can see is that half empty glass. Our belief in scarcity fuels reckless oil exploration and now there’s an oil slick in the Gulf as big as our avarice. Fear and greed keep us in the longest war in our history. We exclude people from society and then relish in our disgust with their anti-social behavior.
Probably the only moment of national unity I have known in my adult life came the day after 9/11. Is that what it takes to bring us together?
It’s the power of negative thinking and it’s ushered in the age of cynicism.
Go team USA! I sure could use a little more good news.