Blog This: The daily noise


Imagine never again hearing about random and meditated acts of hatred, violence, tragedies, catastrophes, mass, gang and individual murders, police brutality, warring nations, wars within nations, warring religions, terrorism, racism, sexism, this-ism, that-ism, Middle East unrest and near violent and obnoxious political rhetoric.

There’s no need to live off-grid somewhere in Montana, just steer clear of “the daily noise.” Unless the news moves you to pray for all of the suffering victims, or become an activist for change, this bombardment of real life chaos serves no positive purpose.

We’ve become desensitized to the point of numbness. Nothing surprises us. Many have become news junkies, filling our minds with whatever prevailing negativity may be blowing in the wind. Come 7 o’clock, we can’t resist turning to our favorite noise channel to obtain our daily fix where there’s always another, more stimulating breaking news event that shoves aside whatever insanity previously infected our psyche. Competition between networks and papers guarantees the freshest supply.

News venues long ago discovered the fact that humans find some sort of odd pleasure in the suffering of others and make plenty of money doing so. And we really can’t blame the great multitude of noise producers; they’re simply supplying precisely what we want, consequently increasing their viewership and thusly, their ratings.

According to crafty broadcast teasers and presentations, we must lust for such devastating news events as the news anchor announces with a sense of extreme urgency, “2- year old boy kills his mother — tonight at 11.”  

Why bother with the plethora of TV shows and movies soliciting violence when you can turn on CNN and get some very creative, real life horror? Perhaps it serves our egos by helping us to feel a little better about our own, perhaps “desperate” lives? But could it be that our hunger for violence and terrible news only perpetuates more and more dysfunction?

These days, while traveling on any highway, especially the Merritt, you’re bound to come across an incident that will either slow or stop the normal flow of traffic in both directions. It could be as simple as road crew eating donuts, a trooper ticketing a speeder on the road’s shoulder to a slight fender bender due to distracted driving or even a multi-car pile up with fire trucks, ambulances, stretchers and all.

Rightly so, according to the number of vehicles and rescue vehicles involved, traffic should and must slow down on the side of the occurrence and the more rescue vehicles the greater the interruption. But to prove a point about our inclination for viewing others’ trouble, pain and suffering is how traffic on the opposite side, in the opposite direction, of the incident often slows to the same degree as the incident side. Until driverless cars become a reality, I’m afraid we’re doomed to rubbernecking slowdowns.

If you think this doesn’t pertain to you … test yourself.  The next time you pass the scene of an incident, in either direction, try to avoid turning your head. Most cannot resist.

You may reach Robert La Valle at [email protected]

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