Not too long ago, I had a ritual. I would wake up, stumble to the corner café, read the news, and get high on coffee. Coupled with the amazing people-watching, it was a spiritual experience. I don’t know for sure when it happened, but something ruined my high. I still go to the café and get high on coffee, but I can’t tolerate reading the news. It’s not just that it’s so negative. It’s that, on top of the negativity, the news has been dramatized.
It has been said that I enjoy drama. This is a truth. I do love a great drama. But the joy of escaping into an intense drama (books, movies, or otherwise) has always been deeply tied to the inevitable return to reality. That’s what makes the drama enjoyable–it’s not reality. But, I need reality. We all do. We all need to be connected to the reality of the world around us. The problem is that we no longer can get the news without the drama. Front page articles in major US newspapers are reading more and more like editorials and op-eds. Less and less it seems that we are just given the facts and allowed to develop our own opinion.
The result is that I must read a wide variety of articles covering the same topic in order to get all the facts. This isn’t a bad practice. It’s just time consuming. And, it means that I have to also sift through a lot of crap. And, let’s face it, I just want the news. I don’t want a writer’s opinion of the news. Or a worse trend, writers filling their space with opinionated quotes from people. Just the facts, please, just the facts.
I think this is a huge part of the downfall of American journalism. They’ve lost the ability to investigate or report. The newspaper companies like to blame the internet. But, in reality, the newspapers are failing because they are crap. People no longer trust them for the news. The very fact that papers can be clearly divided into a liberal or conservative groups, is proof that good journalism is dead. In addition, the belief of the reader that they can only read papers that have the same political sway as them is proof that we’ve settled for this truth. Journalism is dead.
The whole situation has left me feeling frustrated with and apathetic about the news. We don’t need to make the current issues seem any better or worse than they are. They are what they are. So please just report them that way.
Just in case there was ever any doubt, Pope Benedict XVI is the single most out-of-touch person in the world. And when you consider the other religious leaders and politicians that he is in competition with for that title, this is no small feat. Congrats!
He secured the title during his trip to Africa this week. In case you missed it in the news, here is a link to one of the articles covering it. Here’s my summary of what went down: The current Pope made his first trip to Africa and proved that he is completely out of touch with reality. He said that condoms are not the way to stop the spread of HIV, they actually contribute to it.
Seriously. The use of condoms actually increases the risk of HIV?! What a jackass. Someone who is this completely out of touch with reality cannot possibly understand the damage that is done by saying condoms make the problem worse. He clearly is blinded by his own antiquated dogma.
Obviously, yes, with abstinence there is less risk. If you aren’t having any sex then you probably are not ever going to come in contact with HIV. But, that’s not the reality. People have sex. A lot of it. Not only is it unrealistic to expect magnetic couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) to abstain from sex, it is also unrealistic to expect single people to not have sex. All religious mumbo-jumbo aside, people are going to have sex. Period. So why would anyone actually take a stance that essentially guarantees the continued spreading of HIV? Who would do such a thing? A true douchebag.
If you doubt that condoms are a good means of having safer sex, then you only need to educate yourself. Do your research. My preferred HIV/AIDS resource is at www.thebody.com. A specific entry on condom use and efficiency can be found by clicking on this link. The article may be a little old, but it is still relevant. There are countless other resources that can be found by searching the web or going to your library. If it is your own personal religious beliefs that prevent you from accepting the use of condoms, then I say to you, please leave that for your own relationship. Don’t ever suggest to someone else that they should not use condoms or that their only option is to abstain from sex.
In conclusion, please do yourself and everyone around you a favor by not propagating the myth that condoms contribute to the spread of HIV. And most importantly, please do not listen to the Pope. He clearly supports creating an environment where people must hide their sexuality and live under a blanket of guilt and shame. Coming from one you grew up in such an environment, I can say that guilt, shame, and self-loathing are some of the biggest threats to safer sexual practices.
Many of you may have already seen this clip of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant rapping his opening PA. Clearly entertaining and creative, David Holmes has generated some cyber-buzz. Kudos to David! He’s entertaining people and sharing important safety information all in one. He’s not the first SWA flight attendant to sing or even to rap. So I’m not sure why a local Dallas news station found this to be news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he enjoys his job and that he works for a company that embraces this sort of thing. If I had been on that flight, I probably would have been stomping and clapping right along with everybody else.
My issue is this: Why do people need to be entertained in order for them to listen to important safety information? In the news article someone is quoted as saying, “That’s the first time I’ve ever listened to the emergency instructions.” What???? I’m not sure that I’d admit to that if I were you. This is essential information about the airplane and crew to which you are trusting your life. As a flight attendant, I’ve never understood why people, in general, don’t pay attention. I guess I should clarify, they do pay attention, but only after they hear about an airplane crash. It’s sad, but just plain true.
After 9/11 people paid very close attention for a few weeks. After US Airways flight 1549 went down in the Hudson, they paid attention to the life vest portion of the announcement. However, if there is anything that we should learn from that accident, it’s that people do survive crashes. I hear people say all the time that if the plane goes down “we’re all dying anyway,” followed by some other bit of “wisdom.” That attitude is biggest mistake anyone could make. I’m providing a link here to a site providing airline crash statistics. The key fact is that people survive. So why wouldn’t you want to pay attention?
Again, kudos to David for finding a way to make crucial safety information a must-hear event. And shame on those of you who had to rely on being entertained in order to pay attention.
Ok. So, it’s no secret. I ♥ America’s Next Top Model. Each week I can’t wait to see what shenanigans Tyra and the “models” at ANTM are going to get themselves into. I don’t really know how anyone can take this show seriously…and I love it! Cycle 12 just began and I believe that this season is not going to disappoint. I’m also extremely excited to see that the CW is already pushing Cycle 13. Tyra, who has been quoted as saying that she created the show to “counter stereotypes about beauty” is switching things up once again. Cycle 13 contestants can be no taller than 5’7″. Cue the overly dramatic pause. That’s right, tall fierce girls with attitude need not apply.
Possibly that’s exactly what caused the brouhaha at the New York City Top Model Cycle 13 auditions. Evidently, there was a stampede after all the short pretty girls had spent the entire night waiting in line. Several were arrested and a few were even injured. Shit, Tyra knows how to start things off just right–girl knows how to put on a show.
I’m not sure what else to say about this. I guess it cracks me up whenever I hear that quote about Tyra breaking down modeling stereotypes. I mean, seriously, I would never expect to counter a bunch of catty, narcissistic, and just plain mean girls on a show about “models.” To her credit, however, throughout the show’s history there have been contestants with Asperger’s Syndrome and epilepsy, a transgendered girl, plus-size models, burn victims, etc. etc. My personal favorite is the self-proclaimed “street preacher” from this current season. Definitely the best thing about Cycle 12 starting up is that I am guaranteed to have at least one thing a week that I absolutely must blog about. Let the fierceness begin!
Here’s a little clip I found on YouTube that highlights some of the craziness from the that several cycles: