Just Plain Bitching

If you’ve read the LAC books, you know I’m a reporter. You know I’ve worried about layoffs. Even in the world of fiction, the fact remains that newspapers aren’t what they used to be. Old ones are turning off the presses. Some are filing for bankruptcy. The ones that remain are trying to supplement the paper news with online news. It is a harsh reality—in the real world and my fictional world.

In a real-world newspaper comparable to the Granton Journal, the online headline is about a man who violated a restraining order his wife had against him. He violated the order so he could put a gun’s worth of bullets in her head. We should be talking about how to keep women (and men) safer (and alive). We should be talking with each other, looking at ourselves, being a little kinder.

But instead, you read the article, and your attention is diverted by a little poll next to it that reads:

How would you punish a captured pirate?
Make him walk the plank.
Take his parrot.
Put out his other eye.
Replace his hook with a plastic spork.

See, pirates (real ones) have been in the news, too, so let’s entertain the folks with a cutesy, stupid-ass poll before they click to a different site for something more entertaining and we lose advertising revenue.

Is it the media that has erroneously decided society can’t tolerate the news unless it’s entertaining? Or has society truly become that shallow, that cold, that self-absorbed? Or is there so much crap, so much news, that we need that cutesy diversion so we can stomach the rest of the day?

Cyberspace is an incredible place with much to offer, but in giving it such a prominent place, we are losing things.

Think before you relinquish!



2 thoughts on “Just Plain Bitching

  1. I like the spork idea. That would be a fitting punishment for most things. The actual punishment for piracy per se is hanging, but to non-lethally punish a pirate for other crimes and infractions, I’d go with the spork.

  2. See, that’s the whole frickin’ point, though. They took your attention away from the news. We’ll think about sporks and planks and parrots and poking out an eye, but do we deliberate what we should do with the guy who killed his wife? Or what we should do to protect abuse victims better so this doesn’t happen again? The point shouldn’t be pirate jokes. It should be dealing with the Lisas and the Natalies in this world, and making sure the Alisons are okay.

    Then, we can deliberate sporks. I hate those stupid-ass things.

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