Today I made the mistake of scanning a long list of news headlines online. Normally I try and skim-read titles in the most efficient way possible. Meaning that I only mentally highlight the words relating directly to the subject I’m looking for, but this morning I was tired and seemed to be working at a reduced speed and some rouge headlines snuck in.
I know I should really be beating myself up for paying less attention to the world around me on an average day rather than upset with the little dose of today’s news I received. But upset I am. Not only were there the expected deluge of miserable bulletins, sensationalist coverage of issues that underpin our society and the overwhelming feeling that things were going to shit, but there was also a liberal sprinkling of faux-news-with-a-feel-good-factor.
This is the ‘news’ I hate most of all. This is the news that haunts me because it blatantly isn’t news and yet it masquerades as such. This fluff is constantly reminding us if that celeb related drivelling or coverage of the breaking news that ‘people like cups of tea’ are the best topics of conversation or debate we can come up with as a nation, things have indeed all gone to shit. And worst of all I feel that I somehow contribute to it.
Sometimes people do stupid, awful things that make me want to roll my eyes. Other times they do stupid, awful things that make me want to smash them in the faces – even though I’ve not properly hit someone since I was around 7.
A 20 year old girl from Leicester was in the papers today as she was sentenced to five months in prison for blocking an ambulance. Don’t spare a second considering whether this could be overly harsh justice – according to reports the idiot laughed and made obscene gestures at the drivers. Meaning she was entirely aware of the gravity of the situation and chose to disregard the fact the siren was going.
The elderly patient in the ambulance subsequently died, although it seems not directly due to her actions. Nonetheless, this is even more depressing than the fact that bloody half of us apparently don’t know where our hearts are. Maybe that’s how this despicable child was able to behave so heartlessly?
I don’t know why I bother trying to make stuff up sometimes, when people are so ready to behave like the kind of characters I’d be ashamed to write.
At work I spend a lot of time reading news headlines and checking out some of the stories that pop up in the press. Sometimes I think there can’t be many things more depressing. Quite aside from all the misery that humans are able to subject on each other and propagate in the form of war or persecution, are a whole bunch of other stories that seem designed to fill me with despair.
For example, a new study has apparently revealed to the Mail that being a career woman ‘could harm your chances of having a baby’. Fine then, shall I just stay at home? Maybe find a man to look after me? And all the babies I’ll find it so much easier to have of course.
The research itself is pretty interesting, Professor Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah announced that she’d seen a shift in hormone patterns of women who worked in high powered jobs. This saw oestrogen being replaced by androgens – a group of hormones including testosterone, an occurrence assumed to be down to the levels of stress the work produces.
What bothers me is the way that knee jerk reactions are constantly given precedence in reports like this. It’s the body shape that can seriously affect fertility, and body shapes not only don’t change overnight, but a lot of people are born without the desirable hip-to-waist ratio perfect for mothering weans anyway. Also, they are talking specifically about high powered jobs – who says that to be a successful career woman you have to have a typically stressful job?
It’s headlines like the one found in the Mail that keep forcing a perception of a negative divide of the sexes, rather than the positive one we’re all trying so hard to establish these days.