March 17th, 2022Kyle’s Rant
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide, foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz, hypodermics on the shore, China’s under martial law, rock and roller, cola wars, I can’t take it anymore.
These are the lyrics from Billy Joel’s 1989 song We didn’t start the fire, and the sentiment seems to be paralleled these days with so much frightening news oozing out of mainstream media into the relative safety of our loungerooms.
The news directors must have a smile ear to ear as they currently don’t have to manufacture news from citizen journalists’ iPhones. They simply have to focus on the news and magnify it, shoving it down our throats until we choke with fear.
I watched over the last few weeks as the focus changed in quick pace from Ukraine to the Queensland floods then northern New South Wales, and over to Thailand for a half hour special at the front of the news on Shane Warne’s life and passing.
As I write this the focus is on the surf in Sydney and not the saltwater stuff. And the mosquito Japanese encephalitis virus has just raised its head. And next week who knows, maybe Chernobyl because the operators of the stricken nuclear power plant have been abducted and who is keeping the plant cool and stopping it from exploding?
My giddy aunt. What happened to the pandemic? I almost miss those spiky red blobs bouncing around the TV screen. I recall the anchor man throwing to his eight field correspondents giving us the bad oil on how buggered we all were, but at least we were all safe and locked down.
Can’t we call time-out on bad news and just read hyper-local good news yarns such as the ones in this magazine? The hyper-focused news that is coming in from our main-stream media is bad and we need to help people in the flood zones as well as overseas, I grant you.
But my problem is the way it gets delivered to the viewers for maximum impact. I saw a small hardworking family getting interviewed on TV about their driveway, which had been washed away. The crew trotted the family of six out in front of the camera and every drone angle and family member was asked questions by the different stations on how they felt.
I guess the story was easy to get to – it was just a hole in the driveway (bloody huge I grant you) but meanwhile those poor buggers in Lismore have had to swim off their roofs and are now facing huge mental trauma, insurance company stoushes and clean-up and they rate two minutes of airtime down the back of the news program.
The same goes for the poor bushfire survivors of January 2020. No-one much has given them a thought as we have had two years of pandemic news whipped up every day and served to us at the diner table with a side serving of directionless government management.
News cycle rant over.