The Clever Little Things That Draw You to Bad News

The Clever Little Things That Draw You to Bad News

There’s something strange about the way the news captures breaking stories, reels you in and then just lets you go. Just recently, Christopher Dekki covered the ways that major breakthroughs are happening around the globe, namely the rise of great policies that re-contextualize the way new Sustainable Development Goals can promote, “people-centered, planet-sensitive policymaking” for generations to come. But have you heard of these world-changing policies before?

Part 1: Breaking the Story.

We don’t need to scrutinize the daily news through a magnifying glass to see that the pervasive, general climate of media rhetoric is to perpetually bathe us in calamity and conflict. It’s the culture of news outlets to break stories by grabbing you by the neck and pulling you real close to the hardest hitting implications of any event. Whether there are things that are yet to happen, or have already happened to entrench you into a sinkhole of damning consequences, there’s always a compulsion to show you the impending “worse”-ness.  It’s the same cookie-cutter of some hard-hitting narrative being placed over and over again onto whatever looks like could fit.

Part 2: Reeling You In.

And nothing comes out of it except more opinion. It’s a never ending feedback cycle that entices you to consider the possibilities and meanings over the same set of shared facts. You already know which news piece I’m talking about, it’s the one from today that goes, “An important person who you may or may not have heard of, has just done something that is probably wrong, but we’re not entirely sure at this point if or how it’s wrong, but it seems like their behavior is part of some type of pattern that could happen again. And you know what it means when there’s a pattern: well, terrible things.”

Followed by, “there’s terrible things you may or may not have heard of, it’s something that is probably wrong, but we’re not entirely sure at this point if or how it’s wrong, but it seems like it’s part of some type of pattern that could happen again. And you know what it means when there’s a pattern: well, more terrible things.”

It’s likely that the total sum of terrible things mentioned in the news and all the terrible things that could result from the original terrible things will never end. The facts are never good enough. The facts are never isolated enough from scrutiny.

“This apple is red.” Well why isn’t it green? Who grew it? There’s probably one that tastes better. Why don’t these two red ones look the same? What’s the difference between a red apple and yellow apple? I only like red apples. Everyone hates red apples.

The little hamster wheel in our brains can never spin fast enough to understand the stories and facts quickly enough before another terrible event is mentioned.

Sometimes there are enough facts to last weeks and months. Everyone including you and I get so worked up about our opinions, spitting globules of words around the breakfast table. And there’s all this rambling that’s happening everywhere and everyone is trying to figure out exactly what the story is and who the crazy ones are. What are the details? Who is involved? Where exactly is this leading? And soon before long, after all your emotions are built up and your opinion is formed, the facts now start to make sense –

Part 3: Letting You Go.

And it happens just like this. Just when it was getting juicy it just ends. It always does. Surely, nobody is actually hurt by everything that’s happened. Are you? Did it mean anything to begin with? What were those facts even about? Apples? Sustainable development goals? The tendency for written articles to draw severe consequences seemingly about nothing? Terrible things.

And let me tell you about this one terrible thing – called awful, news rhetoric – that you may or may not have heard of, it’s something that is probably wrong, but we’re not entirely sure at this point if or how it’s wrong, but it seems like it’s part of some type of pattern that could happen again. And you know what it means when there’s a pattern: well, more terrible things.

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