I’m going to stop listening/reading/acknowledging what passes as “news”, “current affairs”, or “investigative reporting” these days since I don’t think that the media – and I am including all forms of print, air, and social media here – is capable of any kind of perspective. They work themselves up into a froth over Ebola and don’t realize that more kids have died in the US from whooping cough – but that story is only told with reference to the latest celebrity to mouth off about not vaccinating his/her progeny. So here are my mini-rants for the year. After I write these and purge them from my system, I expect to once more regain the perennially cheerful, sunny, optimistic disposition my kids have come to expect of me.
1. The “sound-bite” debate style: “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” – yes, but guns make it way easier for people to kill people and shouldn’t limiting them in number and deadliness be a no-brainer.
2. The “Fair” point of view: There maybe two sides to every story – but not both sides are equally valid! Stop giving them equal time! Yes, there are kooks who don’t believe in evolution and vaccines and climate change – but there are many many more who accept these realities. Stop acting as though these things are in doubt – they really aren’t. And if you think they are then:
- anti-evolutionists, you must stop taking the flu vaccine,
- anti-vaxxers, you must isolate yourself on virus ridden islands away from the rest of us who would like to preserve herd immunity, and
- climate change deniers, you must…no I’m sorry, you need to change your ways because the rest of us can’t afford your stupidity. That is, not until we find a new inhabitable planet and then we will leave you alone to run this earth into the ground!
3. The “Bravery” of non-brave acts: People in charge of writing headlines – let’s please check the definition of “brave” – I’ll give you a minute to locate a dictionary. Now use it in a sentence: “Celebrity-with-shelf-life-of-limp-lettuce braves the cold in a mini-dress” – WRONG! Nothing “brave” about dressing inappropriately for the weather! “Actor-keeping-it-real bravely goes make-up free for next film! Oscars to follow” – WRONG! Nothing “brave” about omitting mascara! Try again. “Smarmy-politician goes against party platform and bravely acknowledges the existence of climate change” – WRONG again, wow you are 0 for 3! Nothing brave about acknowledging a data-driven scientific fact accepted with 97% scientific consensus. Repeat after me: “The firefighters bravely rushed into the burning building“, “The mother-of-four lost her brave fight with cancer“. Now, try not to let it happen again!
4. The “War” on Christmas: Stop moaning about the fact that people choose the more secular greeting “Happy holidays” over “Merry Christmas”! Firstly, Christians, in Roman times, co-opted December for their holiday so they could fly under the radar and that was a smart thing to do – after all, the Romans were using them as Purina Lion Chow! All efforts to blend in were good decisions! Second, there’s a lot of reasons for the season – and the most important ones have to do with love and kindness and peace – so stop treating the greeting like it is intended to be a giant middle finger to an entire faith – it isn’t! And finally, if in the last year your media outlet found itself saying any of the following – Happy Navroze, Happy Diwali, Id Mubarak, Happy Buddha Jayanti, Happy Gurpurab – to any of your non-Christian viewers with any amount of genuineness, then you can be sure that those viewers will be more than happy to wish you Merry Christmas and who cares what the clerk at Macy’s says!
Also, If you’re wondering what Jesus would do – here’s a hint: if some guy passed him by on December 25th and said “Hey, happy birthday Jesus”, he’d probably say “Dude, my birthday’s in June! But check out this sweet pole I decorated for Festivus“!