Gabriel Heater, a newscaster on old time radio, used to start his news broadcasts with one of two openings. It was either “Ah there’s good news tonight” or “Ah, there’s bad new tonight.” To those two openings let me add a third I want to hear- “Ah, there’s no news tonight.”
You see, there’s too much bad news these days to suit me. It seems I’m inundated with news almost all bad. People are just trying to tell me too much. Not a day goes by when there isn’t any bad news. I turn on the TV and I hear bad news. There is all this paper at my doorstep full of bad news. There is 24/7 cable bad news, thank you Ted Turner. I talk to someone and they have bad news to tell me. I’ve had too many years of bad news.
I’ve reached a point where old things suit me. Don ’t tell me we’re fighting a war in Afghanistan, and American troops are dying; tell me we won WWII and the killing is over. Don’t tell me we are bombing Iraq and Syria, and humanity is being killed along with the enemy; talk to me about how we are sending millions to England, France and even Germany to rebuild their towns and cities. Don’t tell me that countries are threatening each other with nuclear weapons; tell me how nuclear power has been harnessed and used to create energy to help people live a more comfortable life. You see, I’ve heard enough about war and killing, about maiming and destruction in my lifetime.
I really don’t care that much about celebrities’ lives. I don’t need to be bothered with what Tom Cruise did yesterday; let me recall what Clark Gable did. Don’t tell me that Jennifer Aniston getting pregnant; let me recall Elizabeth Taylor’s beauty. Where are Abbott and Costello and all those comedy stars who made it without smut? You see, what is happening in Hollywood today warms my heart less that what was going on 60 years ago in that West Coast mecca.
There is patricide, matricide, infanticide, fratricide, suicide – enough already! Talk to me of the friendly family next door, the nice boy down the street. Make it drug stores – not drug addiction, shaving mugs – not street muggings, rapport – not rape. They are the things that used to made my world sane and comprehensible. Mayhem rules the world today, not motherly love.
Even now my heart is saddened enough by things long past. For good or not, what the world was like and what was happening decades back is enough to fill my memory banks. It is enough to think about. There was enough to worry about, fear about and feel a sense of joy about back then. It is more than enough about to keep my mind fully occupied for my remaining years.
And if there be anything that needs to be reported, let it be about the happiness that the truly good things in life can bring. New births can do it, another wedding or wedding anniversary in the family is welcomed, another year without the loss of a family is always non-news most welcomed.
Let me hear again, “Ah, there’s good news tonight.”