Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Are we being cowardly?

Friend W and I were discussing the situation in the world over our coffee this morning.  Both of us agree that we just can't bear to watch the News at the moment because of the situation on Aleppo in particular and the Middle East in general.

In addition, the Labour Party Conference doesn't exactly instill one with confidence about the state of Politics in this country.

So we switch off and do something else.   Are we being cowardly?   We both feel helpless and unable to do anything to help - so should we make ourselves watch it all just so that we are kept informed?   And then that begs the question, terrible though the situation is, are we being shown everything that is happening or is it an edited version - and if so, who is doing the editing?

In The Times at the week end Libby Purves, who always writes my language,  spoke about how we should be aware that things are not all getting worse in the world.   Folk tend to think of the 'good old days' and suggest that everything is going ' pear shaped', whereas there is actually much less starvation than there was, much less disease as many have been conquered, much less slavery - in all these cases (and the others which she mentioned) there are still pockets of course, and many of them large pockets - but the point she makes is that slowly, gradually much of what happens in the world is improving.

But I do still feel 'tell that to the women and children of Aleppo'.   Do you watch the news or, like us, do you bury your head in the sand at the moment?

20 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I am a newsoholic I'm afraid. I just can't help it even though I, like you, am very aware of the power of editors and those who interpret what is happening, The way in which Jeremy Corbyn has been portrayed by our media is quite disgraceful in my opinion.

A Heron's View said...

Quite frankly I am a truly sickened by all the conflicts across the world and the attitudes of those who ought to know better, behaving like unfeeling, uneducated madmen. I am sick to death of the blatant lies of the people whose sole aim is to feed the multi-national arms dealers and manufacturers. And of course the media plays a huge part in their propaganda.

As for there being less slavery in the world, well, I wonder which country she was looking at, because there is now as much, if not more slavery than ever I think. People are now slaves to the banks, mortgage and finance institutions, as well as others who are imported into the west to be in service to those who are affluent. Then there are the women who are promised work but who are actually the 'goods' which form the sex trade, in every European country.
There are people who have worked all their lives, invested in pensions, and the funds have disappeared, leaving them with little to live on in their old age.

So no, whilst I don't think the "good old days" ever really existed, I don't think that much is getting better in the world and I honestly don't think we can trust the media to tell us the truth.

Gwil W said...

I thought I was paranoid but it turns out I wasn't paranoid enough.

I forget who said those words. But in respect of what's going on in the world today they are probably not that far off the mark. Maybe this is the Snowden effect.

Tom Stephenson said...

I forced myself to watch the Alleppo documentary which has a link on a previous post of mine last night. I am sort of glad I did, because we must try to understand this stuff, I think. Ignoring it cannot be good for the soul - or this is how it feels to me.

Rachel said...

Whatever you do the world will go on. I gave up tv news 20 years ago for radio news. I dislike all sensationalism that is tv news. I read Private Eye and the Middle East Monthly News. I read Al Jazeera on line and any newspaper that comes my way during the day. I do not trust the media and they are all biased one way or the other. I often do not want to listen to the evening news bulletin so I dont but I like to find out for myself what is going on somehow the next morning.

Heather said...

I do watch the news because I think I should. However, sometimes it is so awful I switch off, and think if I take on every one else's problems I'll make myself ill. As you say, we are helpless to make any improvement. I think we are not given the whole picture and newspapers print what they want us to read, not necessarily the truth. The editors are only interested in selling newspapers and think that disaster, terror, war and crime are the only things we want to read about. Too many politicians are only interested in serving themselves rather than their constituents - who can we trust and how do we get the facts?

jinxxxygirl said...

I must confess i don't watch the news everyday... i do probably at least catch the headlines on the internet everyday... Even though theres nothing we can do i think we at least owe it to ourselves to stay informed... no matter how edited it is... or by whom... To not do so would be the same as an ostrich with its head in the sand... I want to be witness to whats going on in the world... the bad AND the good... I do wish the good would get a little more press... we could all use some hope............ Hugs! deb

John Gray said...

The important thing is that you care

Barbara Womack said...

I'm finding that the news is becoming a little more than I can handle.
I really don't think being an ostrich (burying my head in the sand) is the proper approach...but, between the horrors happening around the world (Aleppo is just one such story) and the current state of American politics, I must admit, I am leaning toward completely avoiding current affairs. However, this is next to impossible if one spends any time at all online.

Terra Hangen said...

When I think of current times I recall the Greek or Roman philosopher and his famous essay on how young people of his day were awful. How little things change! Going to church keeps me focused on how much good we are doing in the world, with our members traveling to help people in Malawi and Mexico and round the planet. Light cancels out dark, so we continue on. Be bold friend.

Frances said...

I do watch some television news, and read a variety of newspapers online. Some of this news is good. Too much of it reports death and sorrow, and directs our focus towards the negative.

In my daily life, I try to be "part of the solution" as the 1960s saying went.

Few of my close friends ever became parents, and I think that our decisions were not a nod towards our belief in better times ahead. Or were we cowards?

xo

Cro Magnon said...

I feel obliged to know what's going on, and it makes me very depressed.

Librarian said...

Most of the time, I very much live in my own happy bubble - I have so much in my life to be grateful for, and I am very aware of it that millions are suffering. But there is only so much I can personally do.
When I'm home at that time, I watch the main TV news at 8:00 pm to keep informed, and I read a weekly newspaper. Of course both the TV news (even the ones on the official "First" channel here in Germany) and the ones in the paper are filtered and edited - but filtering and editing is what journalists and publishers are paid to do, and I hope that, at least in the case of the channel and paper I choose, do it well and within reason.
The "good old days" certainly did not exist, and there are improvements in many areas of life (such as medicine), but there will always be people who can't bear to let others live the way they want to.

Midmarsh John said...

I make a point of not watching television news. Occasionally I tune in for a short while to a radio bulletin but most of the time I prefer to search around for news as I believe that our state broadcasters are presenting a very one sided and often whitewashed view of the world.

joy said...

We don't watch the news, as it is mostly just too depressing. If everyone just does as much good as they can in their own little sphere of life then that should be enough. Things now are mostly so much better than they used to be so we should all count our blessings and help where we can rather than stress over where/when we can't.

Beverley said...

I read the news on the teletext so I don't get all the sensationalism. It is depressing, especially when you can't do anything to help. So I donate all the old clothes etc to Save The Children Charity shop, and do any little good when and where I can.

Derek Faulkner said...

I'm like YP and a newsoholic. I hate missing the 6.00pm news and can't start the day without reading my Daily Telegraph. As for "should we be", or "are we cowardly" by not watching the news, I don't think it comes down to that, it's simply personal choice, not any kind of obligation. The kind of thing that is going on in Syria at the moment has been going on so long in the Middle East that I imagine many of insulated to it now,, talk to somebody while that bit's on, or go out and make a cup of tea.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for these comments - I feel better for reading them. Hearing that 'they' have even bombed a hospital in Aleppo today is almost too much to bear, but it is good to know that I am not alone in not watching

Terry and Linda said...

Like you Terry and I have stopped watching the local and world news. Although!!!! We still watch the Rural/Ag News...its all about the crop reports you see.

Linda

Fairtrader said...

Dear Pat!
I think we are fencing us off from the hard core of the situation, or as Gwil said, we are not being paranoid enough. Something really important is slipping out of our hands and into...yes, you may wonder. There are only people in this world but we follow different voices it seems and sometimes we claim to follow the voice of wisdom and love, but actually not enough.
The world is contrary to the kingdom of heaven, Jesus says, but we are still put here to make the world aware of the kingdom. Best way to do that is to put stop to suffering, when its in our hands. I heard a great sermon from Prague on the radiolink, talking about fences and walls that we build for ourselves. I too feel bad about everything from Aleppo to the begger on the corner . I know they live in a car without possibility to take a shower our wash their clothes, why don't I act??? Aleppo is beyond my reach, I can't change the way warlords think, being IS or others, but I for certain could make at least a smaller contribution to the situation here, as well as supporting efforts in the migrants homecountries. All I do is greet, give a coin or some food and go home. I really do think, that even if we can't stop war singlehandedly, we can put an impact on the hearts thinking.
You are so right about us being cowards, but we are still aware that we are, and that, I believe, is a good sign!!! WE turn away from the horror, having no strenght to watch, but in our hearts we are praying for mercy, that counts!!! And this is about the only blog I can comment on, nowadays, all others are closed to me.