I need you to help me here by putting the case for or against this craze for what so often seems to me to be too much information. Maybe my views are old-fashioned. I try to keep up to date by chatting to younger people, by reading the newspaper from cover to cover (The Times since you ask), by listening at least once a day to the television news (any more than once a day means that you get the same story repeated over and over again). But sometimes I am appalled by some of things I see and hear.
At yesterday's funeral of Mrs. Thatcher - and whether you agreed or disagreed with the amount of money spent on it, her politics or any other aspect of the funeral had nothing to do with it - I just do not think it was appropriate to show George Osbourne in tears. I hastily add that I am not - repeat not - a Conservative and do not agree with the present government over anything that I can think of. But one's feelings and one's ability to control them should not be a matter for millions of people around the world to speculate upon.
And then we come to the terrible Boston bombs. The image of that lovely family and the knowledge that it had quite literally been blown apart by the bomb simply because of where they had been standing was an image that will stay in my mind and I think was quite rightly published. But as for the images shown on television and as for the thousands of spectators who took photographs of the carnage on their mobile phones - I really do not know what to think.
Could you stand and take a photograph of somebody bleeding to death and lying in the road? And yet - and yet - maybe some of the photographs will prove useful in identifying the criminal or criminals who did it. And as is quite rightly pointed out in The Times this morning, these photographs and film footage also show dozens of ordinary citizens running to help rather than running away.
A couple of days ago there was a photograph of a man standing helplessly by the bodies of his wife and child, killed by a passing vehicle in India - and nobody coming to his aid. It does rather beg the question - did the photographer go to his aid after taking the photograph?
I know there are arguments for and against - and I know that all the imagination in the world can't possibly bring up the image of the terrible slaughter of terrorism or warfare. Maybe photographs help - but there is such a thing as overkill and I wonder whether perhaps the whole thing has got out of hand. At the beginning of the conflict in Syria we saw miles of footage of the suffering of innocent women and children in their towns and villages and in their refugee camps. Now we rarely see one. Maybe we saw so many in the beginning that we began to stop looking at them. For whatever reason the cameramen have moved on - they seemed to gather like crows round the dead rabbit - now they have found another 'kill'.
One of the most poignant photographs in The Times today - for me at any rate - is the photograph of Simon Weston on his way to Mrs Thatcher's funeral. Simon Weston - the man whose face had to be literally rebuilt after the terrible fire on the Sir Galahad during the Falklands War. A small photograph saying a lot. Maybe we are often bombarded with so much information that we become
impervious to it.