Other Voices

Okay, I’m aware of how much I’ve posted stuff from other people’s blogs, lately.

To wit, out of my nine posts so far this year, I wrote exactly one.

You might think I’ve gotten lazy, but that’s not true. It’s just, I’ve read plenty of good blogs here of late, written by bloggers whose work I respect. I share them with you because 1) They’re saying what I think, and saying it well, 2) They’re offering some useful information, or 3) I’m happy to introduce you to their blogs.

Additionally, here’s a few more I’ve discovered recently that I like, with a quote from each writer about their purpose:

Letters From an American, by Heather Cox Richardson, a professor of American history, who explores the news of the day within a historical context. Interesting and informative. This is a chronicle of today’s political landscape, but because you can’t get a grip on today’s politics without an outline of America’s Constitution, and laws, and the economy, and social customs, this newsletter explores what it means, and what it has meant, to be an American.

Today’s Edition Newsletter, by Robert B. Hubbell, who describes himself as “Citizen. Optimist. Realist.” Above all else, I am trying to sustain and lift-up my family by staring into the noisome stream of information that passes for “news” to find the thread of decency and hope that binds us together as a nation.

The Good in Us, by Mary L. Trump, the only Trump I care to follow. For our part we must embrace the idea that democracy is always worth fighting for. We have to remember, however, that we always have to be fighting for democracy—it’s not an end in itself, it is a process. We need to be neutral as to the facts (h/t mainstream media) but always biased towards democracy.

I found these writers on a website called https://substack.com, where you can find articles on politics, culture, business, sports, the arts and several other topics of interest, written from different points of view.

Obviously, some of you will be more receptive than others to these sites I recommend, and that’s fine. We all like to gravitate toward those whose opinions align with ours, and dismiss the rest. Nevertheless, you’re invited to at least check ’em out.

And one of these days, I’ll actually have some original material for you again. Promise.

Choose Yes!

Reading or watching the news these days can be a downright demoralizing experience. Nearly every story is a bad one: war, mass murder, political malfeasance, racism, et al.

It’s partly our fault. Bad news makes ratings go up, and in the business of news, higher ratings are the goal. We like our news bad, for whatever reason.

But if you ever get tired of that, if you ever get to wondering if there’s any good news out there, my answer is Yes!

As in Yes! Magazine, a nonprofit, independent publication committed to, as they call it, “solutions journalism.” Here is an explanation from their website of just what that entails:

“Our explanatory journalism analyzes societal problems in terms of their root causes and explores opportunities for systemic, structural change. Our stories uncover environmental, economic, and social justice intersections. Our solutions reporting spotlights the ideas and initiatives of people building a better world. Our commentaries address dominant economic, political, and social structures and consider alternative ways of thinking that can produce a more equitable and Earth-friendly world.”

In other words, instead of just telling you what’s wrong in the world, Yes! Magazine wants to have the conversation about making it right. I think there’s a place for that.

I’ve read some thought provoking and inspirational stories here, and it’s a good reminder that all the news ain’t bad.

Just go to https://yesmagazine.org sometime and have a look for yourself.

You’re welcome.

Break Time

 

I like to think of myself as, at least, a semi-informed chap, a guy who has some idea, anyway, of the goings on of the world. As such, I try to stay on top of the news of the day.

But I may have to rethink that.

I truly believe, if I try to keep up with the news these days, it may drive me to a nervous breakdown, or worse. The anger it stirs in me might blow out a blood vessel, I don’t know.

Because it is so overwhelmingly depressing. So bleak. So hopeless. It leaves me with a dim view of the present, and an even darker one of the future. And feeling helpless to do a damn thing about it.

And the sheer weight of it all becomes almost too much.

Am I the only one who feels like this?

 

Part of this, I understand, is due to the media’s propensity for focusing on the bad news. But, we’re to blame for that; bad news consistently pulls in good ratings, which are what the news business is all about. Like the philosopher Don Henley once said, we love dirty laundry.

I guess, if I had some other belief system, perhaps it wouldn’t get to me like it does. But I believe what I believe, although even that’s shaky these days. Maybe I’ve been wrong all this time. Don’t think so, but I’m not quite as sure as I once was. I don’t know…

I just know that, for the sake of my sanity, I don’t wanna know. My head just needs to be in the sand for awhile, good or bad.

But, if someone drops a bomb on us, can someone please give me a heads-up? Thanks.