A Two-Coffee Morning……and a little perspective


by Kenneth Justice

~ I swear, this summer seems like the summer of craziness.

Is it just me or does it seem like the NEWS stories we read every morning have been coming at us with even more voracity lately?

This Summer it seems like every morning the news wire is filled with some really big stories from all across the world….

And with every one of these major stories….I wonder what the impact on each of our lives has been from the coverage?

–) George Zimmerman trial

–) Egyptian Revolt

–) Greece in major economic turmoil

–) Jodi Arias trial

–) Civil War in Syria

–) Detroit declares bankruptcy

–) One of the biggest heatwaves in Great Britain’s recent history

–) Amanda Berry and other women saved from a basement in Ohio after a decade of captivity

The list is literally endless…….and there are so many things going on in Korea, Australia, India, China and the rest of the world that I couldn’t even begin to mention every one of them……

I’m a self-admitted news junkie. I worked in politics for three years during my late teen years, and ever since; following the local and world news is as much apart of my daily routine as brushing my teeth……actually, I bet I forget to brush my teeth more times than I forget to read the news!

And that’s why I asked myself the question this morning, how are we being influenced by the NEWS? 

Let’s face it; the people living in Greece and Detroit are being directly affected by the economic situation they are living in…..

But someone living in Iowa or Australia aren’t necessarily reeling in economic pain from the decisions of politicians in Greece or Detroit….

But, we are influenced or affected in some way by the News coverage we follow……

Hundreds of years ago…before the Internet, before the telegraph, before the printing press…….men and women were limited in the scope of the NEWS they followed.

Perhaps you’d leave your farm and travel to the town meeting or religious services and there you would be given word-of-mouth updates on what was happening at the Capital City or the local province.

Travelers were a main source of news in the ancient world.

If you were on a sojourn through the world you would likely be given free room and board for the simple cost of sharing stories about the cities and governments you had passed through on your journey.

This rather cool phenomenon of a small town or family taking in strange travelers and sharing meals together was entirely centered around the sharing of NEWS.

Along came the printing press, the telegraph, newspapers, and eventually the Internet……and that face-t0-face social experience that thousands of generations of humans enjoyed slowly died away.

You see, there is a positive and negative about the way things ‘used to be’;

–) by only getting far-away NEWS from travelers….it allowed ancient peoples to be more focused on what was directly in front of them. It freed them from distractions that they couldn’t do anything about…….

–) The negative of course is that when there was major suffering or catastrophes in far-away lands…..you were getting the NEWS so late that it was unlikely that you would be able to help your fellow humans.

And all of that brings us to our day-and-age……

Our era is filled with 24 hour news media….

Wall-to-wall coverage of NEWS events that are not very often connected to our daily lives……

So how are we being affected by all this NEWS?

Let’s face it; we have the ability to know about the major catastrophes and crises that are occurring around the globe….but very few of us do anything about them….and more specifically; very few of us have the ability to do anything.

What can you or I do for the people in Syria where a civil war is raging?

The death toll in Syria is out-of-control!

So what good is it for me to read about it every morning (which I do quite religiously)?

How are we being influenced by the NEWS?

To be perfectly honest. I don’t have an agenda behind my question. I don’t know what the answer is to all the NEWS we follow.

–) I can’t throw a stone at the people who say, “I just don’t want to follow any NEWS because it is negative”

–) And I can’t throw a stone at the people who enjoy following the NEWS like myself.

But I can ask the question…..How are we being influenced by the NEWS?

Isn’t that a question I should ask?

Shouldn’t we be concerned with the influencing forces behind the media……shouldn’t we question whether or not we are being influenced for the positive or the negative?

Personally…..I wish we could start-up the ancient practice of inviting travelers over for a room and meal and an evening of swapping stories……

So if you’re ever anywhere near my territory…..stop by and you’ll get a comfortable bed and a delicious meal……

And of course a really good cup of coffee, which reminds me……


Categories: Culture & Society

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21 replies

  1. It is simple. 2012 was the end of the Piscean era now we are heading into Aquarian. If I understood well we are already in. That means all truth has to come out and everything old and wrong has to go now and forever. Obviously it wont happen in one night but gradually. Then around 2025 something really big should happen to put the world and society worldwide in order until then expect more and more craziness and more and more chaos. Currently there is a huge fight between ideologies what for example conservative appear progressive and those who seem progressives are actually very ancient in their thinking – usually ultra liberals are in fact coming back to the ancient times. Everything is upside down. Confusion is amazing because now we are in the period as in the Bible is described the day of the resurrection. Which however wont take one day but couple of years or decades. So the truth is coming out and there is an amazing battle between evil and good at the moment which is increasing day by day. The Armageddon already started long time ago since last century with Industrial Revolution when Old structures started to crack… In this current period there is a very high amount of undecided people which are nor good and nor they are evil however they are adding into the confusion and thus creating chaos. Chaos is evil because in Universe everything has to have an order in order to continue to exist – it is called Entropia Costruttiva – sorry I dont know the term in English. But basically where there is a chaos there things will have a destructive force instead of constructive. So at the moment there are loads of undecided people who will go along with whoever just to have a certain benefit of it. So sometimes they stick with good and decided constructive people who are creating order on this planet and sometimes actually most of the time they are going with people who are creating destruction. For example a person who creates order is the one that respects others, takes care of others, helps, builds positive environment, is positive, eats healthy things, doesnt waste. Everything that makes things better and puts them in order. Destructive people are obviously people who dont want to study and evolve, who are too materialistic – too much waste, buying things which they dont really need instead of saving money and use it for something constructive that will ADD to this world instead and will be beneficial for everyone. Destructive people are rude and evil others, kill whoever even an animal or an insect just for fun. Such people usually dont believe in God. They dont understand that when they die they r not really going to die. Nothing in Universe can die. Energy cannot disappear. However …. if people wont decide to be CONSTRUCTIVE in their actions, speech and thinking. Im afraid that an inevitable catastrophe is about to happen. I wish people would understand that they create bad weather themselves. Energy follows the energy. If there will be more evil energy accumulated than it currently is. Many of these destructive people die. And that is a fact. And it is already happening. Destructive and undecided people will have to go because they dont serve the purpose of evolution which is putting things in order.

  2. I hate watching/reading/listening to the news. It’s so biased that someone should come up with a different word other than ‘biased’ because the media is a joke, all of it, at least here in the USA it is. Journalism used to be a worthy profession, it used to be about the story, the facts, all of the facts, now it’s so obviously bent in the direction of the ‘writers’ opinion and no longer reporting facts and the sad thing is most people take a few minutes to scan the headlines, or watch a half hour of human interest stories, and the people take what they hear as gospel because no one has enough time to dig for the real news stories.
    Just look at Benghazi, what happened in Benghazi is a disgrace yet nearly everyone I know has no idea what I’m talking about if I bring up Benghazi….the IRS scandal has been hidden underneath things like the Zimmerman case which, as tragic as it was, is being used as a political tool to distract us from the fact that our own government is literally spying on each and every one of us while nibbling away at our rights thru humiliation and guilt. ‘Journalists’ pick and choose what they think we should focus on, I mean I get the tragedy of a dead 17 year old but what about all the other dead kids and dead adults being killed every day? What about the poor woman who was robbed at gunpoint by a different 17 year old who shot and killed her 3 month old child she was holding in her arms as he robbed her? What about the woman in NJ who was sitting in her own home watching tv with her 3 year old when a ‘man’ broke in and violently beat her nearly to death in front of her child before throwing the woman down a flight of stairs? All caught on their nanny-cam yet the ‘man’ has pled not guilty and will probably get off with a slap on the wrist?
    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to rant on your page but I have so much anger toward the so-called news industry and the way they pick and choose instead of reporting the news accurately. I cancelled all my subscriptions to the local newspapers after years and years of getting it delivered, the price of a newspaper is stupid high and when I try to read the articles it’s like they were written by children who haven’t yet learned their grammar or how to structure an accurate story.
    So, um, sorry for the rant but look at it this way, you wrote a great piece that has stirred this reader enough to rant 😀

  3. It is a question I ask myself too… Though I don’t forget to brush my teeth 😉 What I don’t know bout the benefits/positive points in reading about events which you are removed from in a way that you have neither a control on it nor are you being directly affected by it, but it does bring about a feeling of helplessness and negative approach if you aren’t conscious about it. I have felt both of these emotions strongly when I used to religiously read my share of news everyday with my morning cup of tea. Though I have consciously now decided to let myself remain unaffected, sometimes even that scares me- that may be I will end up being too numb to all of this and not be able to feel or show any empathy or compassion towards the events. It is the worst place to be in when nothing can surprise or move you much less shock you. Even if I keep these things aside, value wise too, I don’t know what I am gaining. All that I would gain would probably be a colored view full of presumptions about a place I have never been to and about the people I have never met. So much that when the time comes to swap stories over a cup of tea/coffee or over a plate of delicious meal, I might end up hearing and looking through the colored glasses. ~Shudder~ I hope not!!

    • ” Though I have consciously now decided to let myself remain unaffected, sometimes even that scares me- that may be I will end up being too numb to all of this and not be able to feel or show any empathy or compassion towards the events. It is the worst place to be in when nothing can surprise or move you much less shock you”

      dude, awesome observations!

    • Thank you- Just speaking thoughts that run through my head. 🙂

  4. Seems like a 10 vodka morning

  5. Well I pay very little attention to the news and generall media, sometimes I just stare at my wall. I think it just makes your more aware of the behaviour and actions of people around you, although this can annoy people or make them weary of you. It also makes you appear more neive which to some is sexy (if your a barbie girl anyhow). Also it would make you more creative or active in other interests. You would become perhaps more highly skilled in something. Although I was always dreamy so it hasnt happened for me yet. I think part of the luck of the irish is to do with simple countryside lifestyle, if your life is simpler then oppurtunity is perhaps more obvious when it occurs. Although a certain degree of cabin fever is likely if you do not engage yourself enough in your senses and brains

  6. News is for entertainment more than anything. People like bad news. It’s interesting and makes them feel better about their lives.
    That picture is awesome! Haha

    And no one forgets to brush their teeth. Sometimes you just don’t want to.

  7. it seemed quite crazy decades ago when I stopped watching the news. if something critical occurs, or I need to dodge bullets, someone nearby lets me know.

  8. there have been a lot of “heat waves” going on and it does make me mildly wonder how much the weather is impacting human behavior. contrary to nay sayers… the climate is changing (how much of that is human impacted and how much is natural is hard to tell) and it could indeed be having some influence (though probably not the only one). violence does tend to go up as the weather gets hotter… i believe i read once that after the temperature gets over 100 degrees then it stops or at least slows down… it’s too hot to even commit acts of violence (or so it seems)… interesting. as for the rest – well… it may seem like those way far away issues don’t impact us but it will eventually. it’s the whole “turn a blind eye until it’s in my own backyard” bit… well… that’s fine and dandy but by then it could be too late. just a thought. i love the questions you pose… always very thoughtful and deliberate. 🙂

  9. Heat wave? I’m in Georgia, and we’ve had one of the mildest summers I can remember. It’s been awesome. As for the question at hand, I watch the news because I don’t like feeling ignorant or apathetic (although I’m aware this is often the case anyway) when others mention things. I have students who come through my class with baggage, and even though those stories don’t affect me personally, I may be dealing with a student for whom they do.
    Also, it is an excellent exercise in rhetoric and media bias. Often, it can be somewhat disheartening to hear such blatant bias, but I try to look between the lines and get to the truth of the matter. I’m always trying to get my kids to consider things and question the human condition. I hate being a hypocrite, so I look at the news despite my inclinations because I must follow my own advice and set the example.
    Lastly, I’m a huge believer in learning from the mistakes of others.

  10. I have a love/hate relationship with the news. On the one hand, I like to be aware of what’s going on around the world, and the news is fascinating. but, I periodically go through times where I have to step back and take a break from the news, because it starts to become very depressing and stressful, especially cuz the media love to spin the same stories over and over, making hills into Mt Everest!

  11. I’ve had to distance myself from the news over the past several months because of all the negativity. I especially hate it when my friends on Facebook post vile and disturbing stories of cruelty just so they can get their outrage up. What’s the point? I’d much rather do something to make the world a better place–and not while I’m seething with anger and frustration. Seeing some of the stories that come through the media, I sometimes think, as a culture, we’re still spectating at the coliseum.

  12. I am getting fed up with journalistic opinions in the press as opposed to news stories. I am also fed up with the biased of the different media organisations, it is all so transparent. As for the weather in the UK, we know it’s hot because we bloody live here – stop putting on the news, we know already!

  13. Reblogged this on per mare… and commented:
    At the end of the day, the prime objective of the media bosses is to make money, bottom line. The more sensational the news, the more money they make. There is however a strong correlation between riots and rising food prices. The major causes for riots are poverty which leads to hunger, oppression which leads to hunger and wars, climate change which leads to droughts therefore less food and so on. People are scared. The world is different now to what it was hundreds of years ago, the land has been damaged and/or changed by what we either put in or take out. The air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink – the very staples we need to survive are at risk…including coffee. As a rule of thumb I don’t listen to the news in the morning because I KNOW my colleagues will bring me up to speed the minute I walk in the door…that is why I always buy an extra-large latte on the way to work. No flies on me. 😀

  14. I think the instant outpouring of news, good or bad tends to stress us in many ways, most without realising it. Dramas, disasters, death, destruction, (hmm, all these d’s). We take all this info in and can’t do a damn thing about it. Yes we are now informed but to what end? What can we do? In 2011 we had destructive flooding in our district, my wife was in hospital having an op for bowel cancer. I couldn’t get there for 3 days. All I could do was watch TV with the unfolding news, images of people swept away, destruction of homes, places I drive past. Walls of water destroying everything in their path. What could I do about any of it, especially my wife. Nothing. The stress levels rise, the body and mind react without an outlet to ease it. Before satellite TV disasters came to our attention when the water, earthquake, fire had gone. Not now, we can watch people die. Information overload indeed. Viet Nam was the television war, coming into people’s homes every day. Imagine if WW1 and 2 were broadcast daily, how long would the slaughter have gone on? There is a sense of ‘oh dear, that’s terrible’ when we read of something that happened say a week or so ago and we go on with our lives. Streamed live on your iPhone it’s in your face and not pretty. I guess that’s technology for you.

  15. News are nothing but history in the process of writing. A draft. Powerful people try to influence the distribution and importance of news in order to affect the final history and thus the way people think and react towards life. I could say that news is propaganda with a touch of realism but lately I only see propaganda and as such a dangerous waste of time. And this is another thing, because it seems that our civilization takes as granted that you are watching, (wasting your time amongst the useless and untrue) and that you have been warned and there is no excuse if you are not watching. A vicious circle, a win-win situation for the ones that deems themselves the ruling class.


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