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 realityâ€”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!