Hi. Thank you for opening this email. Its time for Horace and Pete to now continue with number 9. This week Ann Carr and John Sharian are among our guests.
A lot of shitty things happened in the world this week. Or, I suppose, to be more accurate, the news is full of shitty things. (That sentence had too many commas in it. In fact it still does.)
Shitty things happen all over the world every day. But which ones I'm aware of is a combination of what web sites make I seek out, based on a combination of who I choose to trust and where I get the most potent "hit" of satisfaction or whatever the part of me that I'm feeding craves.
Whenever a terrible thing happens in the world and you go to a news site to read about it, and they have a video of the terrible thing, there's this strange experience when (if) you click on the video, which is that before you watch the awful thing, they show you a little advertisement. Just for that little awful video. Sometimes it's very cheerful.
When the news used to be a single broadcast that you would watch on television, with commercial breaks. There was a sense that these companies bought advertising to pay for the news to be brought to you.
But now with sponsorship of individual moments of suffering, presented to comfortable gawking consumers, it feels like someone died in a far away place (so you don't have to!) and now you get to watch. And it's brought to you by Geico!
The thing that's hard to avoid is that where there is money to be made, money will be made there. When the news is juicy, we buy more Snapple.
The truth is that the news, if you're really paying attention, is complex and boring. I often set a goal for myself that I'm only going to read the news in the news paper and to stay away from Internet news. Because the stuff that goes up on the sites is immediate, brash and badly reported. They just scoop it and slop it and chuck it. The news paper has limited space. And they have until morning to get it to you. So there's more thought put into it. Internet news is heroin. Newspaper news is nutrition. That's MY view. Don't get all mad. I'm just sharing. I'm sure there are other avenues to the truth that are web based. When I walk into the coffee places where they are literally using lab equipment and glass beakers to make the perfect coffee, I get the sense that the young people sitting at the tables are reading blogs and sites that are quiet and thoughtful. My daughter reads a cocktail of blogs on her favorite subjects, knowing they each have a bias, and averages them out to find her truth.
But I'm 48. I actually remember Walter Cronkite reporting that Apollo Soyuz was orbiting and if you live in the north east you could look up and see white and red blinking lights together and that was them. And I ran out into my front yard in Newton Massachusetts and I saw. Wow. Now of course that was probably an airplane and maybe it was Dan Rather. And also I'm a liar.
Anyway I guess the more and more we share the day's news, the more we still have each our own personal way to see it. And to decide what's important. And what you think and feel about it.
I really hope that I didn't irritate anyone with this email.
Please watch episode 9 of Horace and Pete.