News as a Responsibility
by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon
First let me preface this with a spelling/grammer warning. Its being typed on my phone which is bad for both.
Second, I am trying as an exercise to write something every day. Blog entries, work on a longer piece, personal paper journal entries, doesn’t matter which really. I just really want to get myself into a habit of writing daily instead of intermittently.
The news cycle is slowly making me insane. I don’t watch cable news but I read yahoo news, the stranger’s blog slog, and almost all the gawker media sites. I also religiously watch the daily show and colbert report. And I commonly feel disgusted. The right is nutty and commonly prejudicial in their actions and the left is too busy apologizing for their beliefs and hemhawing to get crap done. Its maddening. Sometimes I just wanna quit paying attention. Go on news cycle vacation and stay there.
When I start to think about doing that, I think back to Sulphur. During my childhood, the city council on occasion almost passed laws that make me question looking back whether maybe they were all drunk, on drugs, or actually mentally ill. There was the cat leash law. There was the anti skateboarding ordinance so poorly written that it technically outlawed cars. These both came from someone complaining and the city council replying by drafting a poorly written law. They both ended when a bunch of people who hadn’t stopped paying attention showed up at the meeting to yell “you idiots!!”
At least partly to blame for the public awareness was the soapbox. You could call the paper, leaving a message on their machine, and if you were lucky or crazy or interesting enough your call might be printed on the front page of the paper. This feature announced when the city council had gone nuts. It also announced monkey sitings between the walmart and kmart. Because of the later it eventually left the front page and has probably now left exsistence.
The other factor leading to the level of citizen involvement is probably sulphur’s unusually high median income for the state. With higher income brackets comes the time to consider what crazy thing they may be trying to make a law now. Growing up surronded by people’s involvement in city politics taught me a sense of social responsibility. I have a sense that being aware of the world’s happenings is the responsibility of a functioning adult. At least partly because when you stop watching, goodness knows what they might do.