Am I swimming against the tide?
Have I got my priorities wrong?
Am I turning into a grumpy old woman? Answers on my comment page, please!
If I asked the question "Which is most important, how you look or who you are?" I would expect ninety percent at least to say that it was far more important what kind of person you were than how you looked. So why is it that the media in general - newspapers in particular - preach the opposite philosophy?
I already find watching the news on television awful. I am sure we all know by now that there is a World financial crisis, but the news bulletins tell us every night about it in as many different ways as they can, with as many different graphs and graphics as they can come up with (wonder how much some of them have cost to produce). Certainly to me most of what they say is pretty meaningless. Apparently Tony Benn met Norman Lamont at the Bath Festival this week (Lamont was one-time Chancellor of the Exchequer). When Tony asked Norman how he would fix the economy, Norman replied that he didn't know - adding 'nobody knows'. So what chance have I got of understanding it all?
But to return to newspapers. Three things I have read this week lead me to believe that media reporters (and as they reflect what the public want to read, by implication most people) think how you look is much more important.
First there was a photograph of Gordon Brown landing in Washington for his first meeting with President Obama at The White House. Was he looking out of the window at the scenery? No he was having his face made up as he sat in his seat, so that when he stood in the door of the plane he would look fresh as a daisy.
I ask you - if the Prime Minister is looking shattered after his six hour flight, during which he probably worked. If he is weighed down with worry about the Afghan war, the credit crunch, his falling ratings in the poll, etc., etc., wouldn't you wish to see that in his face when he got off the plane, rather than have it rouged and tinted like Chairman Mao in his embalmment?
Then, when Gordon Brown arrived at The White House there was consternation because his right trouser leg was caught in the top of his sock. If it had been Mrs Thatcher with her dress tucked in her knickers I could understand it (that situation is every woman's nightmare I can assure all you male readers) - but did it really merit almost a column exhorting Gordon to put his socks on before his trousers in future, so that there was no chance of it happening again.
I ask you - does it really matter all that much?
Then we have a photograph of Sarah Brown meeting The First Lady. They are sitting together at a table, chatting. What does the paper say? Firstly it says that the photograph has been taken from an unflattering angle, to make Mrs Brown look fat. I ask - do we care? Then the article goes on to say that although the Browns bought TopShop dresses with matching necklaces for the Obama children, all they got in return were two helicopters modelled on the President's helicopter as toys for their boys.
I ask - weren't we taught to say thank you for any gift we were given and that never, under any circumstances were we to question what the gift was and how it compared with what we had given the person?
As I say in the title - is it just me - or should I stop reading the papers as well as listening to the news, in order to keep my blood pressure down to normal? Answers - but not on a postcard please.