Hello friends. I hope this finds every single one of you healthy and doing as well as anyone can under these conditions. I mean that sincerely.
Music for this outing is from a little band born in the Republic of Ireland in 1976. Four young men who call themselves U2. The song “One,” was released as a single in February 1992 off their 1991 LP, Achtung Baby.
Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
My discontent with the 24-hour cable news networks is not new news to you if you’ve read my column. My feelings for them haven’t changed and, in light of their coverage of the global COVID-19 pandemic, I have some new bones to pick with them. And you should too.
The major news networks, specifically, the 24-hour news networks, missed a really big chance to bring some civility and discourse back to a society that is desperately in need of both. I fully expected (rather naively) that the COVID-19 pandemic to be a unifying event. One like 9/11 that saw all of us rally together.
You say one love, one life (One life)
It's one need in the night
One love (one love), get to share it
Leaves you darling,
if you don't care for it
Spend 30 seconds on Facebook and you will see that, in large part, it has not.
The medication I take for my ADHD has squashed or greatly diminished the anxiety, doubt, and apathy I walked around with the first 30+ years of my life.
Fortunately, there’s one personality trait the remains untethered—my skeptical nature. To be clear, I’m borderline gullible when it comes to things my friends and family tell me.
However, if I receive information that’s brand new and/or unproven, I am going to bend over backward to find something evidence-based that refutes, discredits, or contradicts it.
Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Up until mid-March, that skepticism was a benefit when bouncing between channels. Over the last seven weeks, it has been vital and pushed to its limits daily.
If the 24-hour news cycle has anything to say about it, that just isn’t going to happen, and in doing so they’ve missed a huge chance to bring back some civility and trust for themselves and among our fellow citizens.
Instead, they give you their meme for the other side is.
Fox News would have you believe the folks over at CNN and MSNBC are a bunch of left-wing socialists looking to trample the 1st and 2nd Amendment, and hell-bent on sabotaging the current Commander-In-Chief.
Conversely, the folks at CNN/MSNBC think that bunch over at Fox News are a bunch of privileged, reactionary, gun-toting racists and fascists who wouldn’t know the truth if it was dressed up as Ronald Reagan.
Well it's too late, tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other
Granted, those examples speak to the extremes, but I didn’t create those narratives. We didn’t create those narratives. The networks did, and it’s created two opposing sides—each viewing the other with the same degree of inflamed cynicism. What’s more disconcerting is that they would have you believe there is no middle ground anymore.
Why would they do this? They’re in the business of news!
It wasn’t until I widened my lens that I was able to arrive at a firm opinion. Let’s break down the statement I made in the last paragraph—“They’re in the business of news.”
Business, yep, it is a business. What are they selling? Information, or rather, the news, right?
I don’t have a degree in journalism, but I know one of the core tenants in the production of a solid news piece is that it be impartial, but more importantly, impersonal. Why is that important?
None of the major 24-hour news networks are impartial or impersonal when they deliver their content. Please call me out if I am wrong. Watch Anderson Cooper Now, Tucker Carlson Tonight, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, or Sean Hannity. Count how many times the pronouns we, you, and they are used. “You would think”…“We are left to decide”…“They would have you believe”…
Well, did I ask too much, more than a lot?
You gave me nothing, now it's all I got
We're one, but we're not the same
See we hurt each other, then we do it again
They made it personal. Now the actual event or “news” is irrelevant. Why did they make it personal? Because news doesn’t sell, does it. But they know exactly what does sell, don’t they.
Fear of what the other side is doing to you, taking away from you, forcing you to accept, or infringing upon you.
Don’t. Believe. The. Hype.
Love is a temple, love is a higher law
You ask me of me to enter,
but then you make me crawl
And I can't keep holding on to what you got, 'cause all you got is hurt
We have people in charge who are making extremely hard decisions with nothing more in mind but the best intentions for our safety, health, and well-being. I’m sure we could argue for days about the effectiveness of a scarf or bandana when used as a facial covering. But can we agree that something is better than nothing??
I don’t think Mayor Barker stands to gain anything by requiring us to don some type of facial covering. It’s for our fellow man. It’s for someone’s 70-year-old asthmatic mother. It’s for someone’s teenage cousin with cystic fibrosis.
And for goodness sakes, can we please please please be kind to one another on social media? Listen, I am no hypocrite, and would never have you believe I’m not guilty of taking the bait many times. But I can tell you that I never once—even when I had the facts on my side—left those encounters feeling good about myself.
Hateful posts about the President, Governor, or our Mayor? Are they helpful or productive for anyone?
If someone posts something wildly sensational, inflammatory, or intentionally triggering, they aren’t trying to enlighten anyone. They are just begging for attention at the expense of your time, energy, and well-being. Block them or, if need be, unfriend them.
One love, one blood
One life, you got to do what you should
One life, with each other
Sisters and my brothers
One life, but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
Take care of each folks—literally and figuratively. We will all be better for it socially and financially if we do.
My best wishes to you and your family for safe and healthy days to come.
P.S. I’d love to hear from you, and I’m sure my teenager would appreciate you distracting me.
When he’s not rocking his socks off with his band, The 6550s, Wes Brooks spends his days as the Development Coordinator at the DuBard School for Language Disorders at Southern Miss. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org