Part of the reason the internet is such a magnet for our attention is that it can deliver us juicey news items well before the TV and radio broadcasts are able to do so, and of course we Americans are news junkies of the highest order. We have the attention span of gnats and we like our news fast and furious. Each breaking news item must be more intriguing than the previous one and if it is not we become impatient. We tremble with withdrawal and shake with news hunger. We need lots of info, arriving 24/7! Even with a globe the size of earth, on any given day, there might not be quite enough stuff happening to satisfy our appetite for rapid-fire news excitement. So therefore we have assembled our own entourage of loose cannons and wing-nut freaks that we can fall back on to supply us with ongoing sad sagas, shocking quotes, substance abuse spectacles and train wreck disasters. They are our side-shows, positioned adjacent to the main event three ring circus world that is already crazy enough for Pete’s sake. They parade themselves in front of our eyes performing one outrageous, twisted act after another and we eat it up like M&M’s.
You know who they are – the spoiled substance abuser “Lindsey Lohan” poor little beautiful but brainless types and the Justin Bieber “baby brat” types who want so desperately to drop their pants and reveal their bottoms to the world. The “loud-mouth” types like pouty lipped Donald Trump and his counter-part angry as hell Rosy O’Donnell. Then you have the political blow-hards who announce that authentic rape is not really an act that can result in actual pregnancy and the wanna-be-dictator-son-of-the-big-daddy-dictator who threatens to send his nukes our way if Dennis Rodman does not have the leader of the free world call him “maybe” on the phone, as the pop song lyric goes. There are many varieties of these dysfunctional news dominators, and most of them are having babies and making more just like them.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? How come they get so much PRESS when other far more uplifting and informative stories go unnoticed? The fruit loops of the world get the attention because we love watching insanity play itself out up on the big screen, day by day so we can see every sweaty pore up close and personal, as we wait for the final meltdown. We love us some meltdowns, now don’t we? We are fascinated to see that bad behavior really does get rewarded by getting most of the attention. The squeaky wheels DO get the grease, don’t they? If you asked each of the people mentioned above what their contribution has been to the world – what non-material “good” they have accomplished – I doubt if they could offer any convincing answer. They are the examples not to be followed and what a distinction that is.
I really like the new Pope, although I am not Catholic. He seems like a nice man who knows what a powerful message his pure humility delivers to the world. He seems to be walking the walk that he talks and I would like to hear more about him. You do not have to be a Mother Teresa or a Pope, however, to deliver a life message of simple gratitude and love that says you are indeed truly, joyfully alive and feel profoundly blessed to be living here on the beautiful big blue marble we call earth. There is plenty of room on the humankind yardstick between the Lindsey Lohans on the far left and his divine Holiness, the Pope at the far far right. The rest of us can all just jump in there somewhere, hopefully far to the right of center, and begin to do the right things with our lives, making breaking news for all the best reasons even though it might not ever be reported. I can never understand how someone can squander their life – waste a precious life – spending valuable time on negativity, violence and self-destructive behavior. There are no excuses for that, whatever our circumstances. All we have to do is to gather our courage, rise above our circumstances, and live our lives the best, most positive ways we can, touching other people’s lives in such a way that we leave a positive and memorable mark where we passed.