Scared, so scared….

Every damn time the news comes on (and the TV news is far, far worse than any other type), we have some new thing to make us scared.

Everything, everything seems to be pushed, written, slanted, spun, whatever, in a way to make us SCARED.

Swine flu – will KILL you.

And if that don’t get you, GLOBAL WARMING WILL KILL YOU. (And before that years ago it was the coming next ice age that would KILL US but you had to be living in the 1970’s to remember that one.)

A year or two ago it was BIRD FLU.

Every day, its the Global Recession, intermixed with TOXIC ASSETS. (Seems to me to be a bit of a mixup here – Assets are usually worth something, so isn’t a toxic asset a contradiction in terms?)

Eat too much fat, it will KILL YOU. Eat too little, that will KILL you as well. Eat too many red vegetables: dead. Too many purple vegetables: dead. And god help you for eating the green shite.

And lets not forget to be scared because the vegetables are not grown the way they used to – evil intensive agriculture means that they are all water (or some other crap) and have no nutrients. Result: DEAD!

Oh – but Chocolate is good for you, but only if its dark chocolate, otherwise (yes, you guess it) dead, dead, dead. Oh but don’t eat too much dark chocolate either, because (yes, you worked it out).

And tonight on the news – we are facing a TSUNAMI OF ALZHIEMERS. Oh please… no! Save me from the marauding hoards of the vague and forgetful, lest I be drowned!!

The news copy writers, and catastrophists are pissing me the heck off. They’ve run out of ways to tell the news, so everything has to be dressed up as some terrible and dire disaster that will cause the sun to fail to rise on the morrow. I’m reminded of a fire-and-brimstone preacher: There shall be no enjoyment! You will DIE for your sins unless you find a way to salvation. These days the way to salvation isn’t spiritual, it’s to be green, mean, debt free, organic, anti-oxidated, highly lubricated, blah blah blah.

Spare me. I’ve had enough of this crap. It’s time to stop watching and listening to the news. That’ll teach ‘em.


You’re preaching to the converted here. I read more and more news online and from odd sources Al Jazeera for instance you’re so right. Then we hear only 7 people have legitimately died from swine flu, probably fewer than die from seasonal flu in Australia each year. Beatups and bashups I hate it. Even one of my lobby groups emailed this morning using swine flu as an excuse to lobby against US owned pig farms in Mexico even though there’s no proof that’s where it originated. Mind you, probably stopped a bit of illegal immigrants crossing into the US for a week or two. When I am queen of the world, I’m getting rid of those stupid A Current Affair tabloid type TV half hours as well. Total snot to be expelled in a metaphorical tissue and tossed in the kitchen tidy!

Comment by Baino | May 6th, 2009 6:01 am | Permalink

That’s why, dear friend, I NEVER watch the news. Instead, I subscribe to The Age online where I can calmly decide to click on whatever link I want – or not, as the case may be. That way I can choose to be enraged by ‘Celebrity Super Mums’ or terrified of the latest flu incarnation (soon it’ll be Mel Gibson flu- for sufferers who are obscenely wealthy, up their own arses and have morality that’s bendier than a gymnast.

Otherwise, I’m finding that I spend more time sitting in front of my poota and reading far more witty, thought-provoking and relaxing material like your blog.

In essence the TV screen is for watching programs of my choice at times of my choosing. Yes, I’ve succumbed to ‘The Biggest Loser’ and I’m already rather into ‘MasterChef’ but they’re taped so that I can edit out the interminable blather at the start and all of the excessively noisy ads in between). Apart from them, our remote control is invariably on ‘DVD’ mode so that we can trawl through collections such as Entourage, Seinfeld and (currently) Frasier.

Comment by Kath Lockett | May 6th, 2009 7:52 am | Permalink

I actually went through a period when I didn’t watch any news at all and one day I was in the supermarket whistling and an old guy came up to me and said, “I haven’t heard anyone whistle for more years than I can remember. What is your secret?” I answered that I stopped watching the news and I’ve been cheerful ever since. He looked at me like I had a ‘roo loose in the top paddock’ and backed away from me. It was hilarious. I’m like Kath above, I just mark what I want to watch on the schedule, record it and watch at my leisure. (I did see a “new segment” on today tonight last night which was actually an advertisement for this old boiler’s cosmetics but that has inoculated me for another 10 years I reckon)

Comment by Jack | May 6th, 2009 5:35 pm | Permalink

I don’t watc the news either. Don’t even read the paper. Well, I do the crosswords and read the comics, but that’s it. I’m not at all worried about all these scare tactics. Sure, these things can kill you, but just living eventually leads to death. So live happily. Be careful too, but don’t go to extremes. What’s the point of living to be 100 if the last 30 or 40 years are miserable?

Comment by river | May 6th, 2009 8:53 pm | Permalink

Wally, how do we tell River that she needs to start a blog? :)

Comment by Kath Lockett | May 7th, 2009 7:33 am | Permalink


Comment by river | May 7th, 2009 6:33 pm | Permalink

I force my friends to start blogs, then they try to kill me when they lose entire days to reformatting…

And the news is awful, particularly living in a country with 11 official languages – chances are that infinitives will be split and pronounciation will go out the window and we have a HORRIBLE American weatherman who cant say ANY of the town names (Worcester, Nelspruit, Phalaborwa and Polokwane being some of the casualties). So I’m generally too busy flinching to hear the stories…

Anyway we have a website that only publishes good news about our country, and I think that’s the best option!

Comment by Helen | May 8th, 2009 1:56 am | Permalink

Good rant Wally,

A couple of years ago I stopped listening to talk back radio because everything they had to say was a negative issue. Last year we canceled the weekend papers (full of crap) I don’t watch the news any more as it is an insult to average intelligence. They sensationalise everything to get our attention. Last month a person gets bitten by a shark on Bondi Beach the next day some idiot is presenting the news live from Bondi Beach in some pathetic attempt to validate their slop by being “on site”. I was starting to think I was getting old and cranky, however your rant an the replies above confirm the “news” is sensationalised garbage.

Comment by Phil.H | May 9th, 2009 5:27 pm | Permalink

Last night just minutes after typing the comment above a news flash was broadcast “FIRST CONFIRMED CASE OF SWINE FLU IN NEW SOUTH WALES” – with my back to the tv (facing the family computer in the adjacent room) I spun around as this was potentially serious. When the “news flash” was expanded on it turns out to be a woman who had flown in from LA, had the swine flu, was treated for it over there, is now ok and back here – sensational crap…

Comment by Phil.H | May 10th, 2009 9:06 am | Permalink

Amen to that. I listen to 702 (local ABC station here in Sydney) during the day and the half hourly news bulletins are doing my head in. Everything is gloom, doom and disaster.

Every time my dad walks past my desk at the office I yell “can you believe this bit of total rubbish they just said”. He just shakes his head and says “stop listening to the news”.

Despite the fact that we are all living longer and better than ever in the history of human kind, you wouldn’t know it from listening to the news. It’s a miracle any of us survive the day, if you consider everything that’s going to kill us and/or destroy our mental, physical and/or financial well being.


Comment by Kathy | May 12th, 2009 7:27 am | Permalink

Michael Crichton [who died recently] wrote a book called ‘State of Fear’ about radical greenies and there’s a section near the end of it where he talks about
writers around the world who create a state of fearfulness in people.
It’s well worth reading as is his website where he demolishes global warming.
However, newspapers around the world are losing circulation and I am
sure that a lot of it is due to people getting thoroughly sick of
beat-ups. They are losing advertising too and all of it to the internet.
Rupert Murdoch last week was spouting the idea of pay per view to read
his news content on-line. All well supported [rah rah] in his newspapers.
However, it seems to me that people are now producing and reading the
news they want to read in the blogosphere and the efforts of the evil
Murdoch will just hasten this process. Now I accept that here will
always have to some news gatherers but the really interesting thing is
that most of the time there is really not a lot of news because when you
go away to a place where you don’t speak the language [like Germany for
instance] you find that you have not missed much in Oz in the time you
were away because events change very slowly most of the time. The
exception is when it is wartime or a major earthquake or bushfire etc.
Most newspapers are full of comment not news and it’s in comment that
you get the beatups.

Comment by Dad | May 13th, 2009 7:51 pm | Permalink

Hey, Rupert may be evil but he does contribute to my mortgage (hubby works in IT for the centre of all evilness – News Limited). So let’s take it easy on the old dude!

I will check out Michael Crichton’s website. Anything that pooh poohs global warming is good enough for me. I’m hearing on the grapevine an Anti-Climate Change Party may be gearing up as a political party. I’m anti ALL political parties but this one may get my attention.

Comment by Kathy | May 15th, 2009 7:23 am | Permalink

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