Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monty Python Got It Right

I love a slow news day. 

 Wake up.  Pour the coffee.  Turn on the TV to accompany your preparations for the day. 

And our top stories this morning: 
·         Princess Katherine’s wedding gown on display! 
·         Lindsay Lohan wears $1000 Manolo Blahnik shoes while claiming she cannot afford court-ordered psychological counseling. 
·         Do men do their share of household chores? 
·         And Donald Trump may announce, again, he’s running for president. 

Hooray!  We can exhale.  We can start the day free of new stress. 

Remember Simon & Garfunkel?  “I can gather all the news I need from the weather report.  Hey!  I’ve got nothin’ to do today but smile!” 

Yeah.  No news is most definitely good news.   

All right, you may say there is, in fact, news.  The “heated” debate over raising the debt ceiling, for example.  But this, for me, is not exactly news.  Or maybe it’s news in the same sense that professional wrestling is sport.  The players are in costume.  They’ve rehearsed their roles.  The outcome is decided.  We just watch to boo and hiss on cue.   

The oppressive heat wave dominating so much of the nation is news.  That weather report is nothing to smile about.  Unless like me, you used to live back there with thirty-one straight days of 100+ degrees and the concomitant double-digit humidity.  I try not to rub it in too much with my Okie relatives.  Poor form and all. 

The last flight of space shuttle Atlantis is sad news for the American dream.  But I heard this morning that NASA plans to put an astronaut on the surface of an asteroid by the year 2025.  Not exactly riveting in the moment, but something to look forward to in an abstract way.  

The players’ lockout is resolved for professional football.  Thank God. 

The SF Giants met President Obama to receive his personal congratulations for winning the World Series last fall.  That’s cool.  Tardy, but still cool. 

Best of all, nothing new to worry about today.  Nothing to add to the list of disquiets that we mull over a little bit each day.  Reviewing them.  Taking them through step-by-step, from the beginning.  How did it start?  How will it end? 

No new contingents of suffering in the world.  Only those already categorized and compartmentalized.  No new wars, or oil spills.  Only the wretched, distressing, but normal batch of car wrecks and shootings.  One animal attack, but everyone’s going to be OK. 

If anything’s startling, it’s what we take as routine, even expected, though not quite acceptable. 

So it’s make the bed.  Brush the teeth.  Get the husband off to work.  Read email.  Plan dinner.  Buy groceries.  Write.  Putter.  It’s all pretty darn good.  In the big picture. 

I’ll just thank God in Heaven for the incredible life I’m privileged to live, feeling especially free from the weight of a big news day.  Only the same old straws today.  Not a single new one. 

Coming up:  Four new ways to barbeque chicken!  I can deal with that.  I love barbequed chicken.  Matt, Natalie, Al, and Ann all wearing aprons.  Cute.  I miss Meredith, but network life goes on. 

Wait.  Uh oh.  Breaking news?  Oh no.  An explosion in Oslo.  Awful.  Absolutely awful.  Terrorists?  No.  One man!  One truly screwed up man.  Young people on a remote island.  Horrific. 

Damn.  I thought the world might maintain its status quo just this one day.  Maybe not an equilibrium of all good things, or even equally bad things, but a balance of sorts.  No new dreadfulness just this once. 

Alas.  

Our globe is populated by human beings after all.  Flawed.  Unenlightened.  Messed up.  Selfish.  Greedy. 

But wait.  What’s this?  The Good News Network!? 

Our Top Stories today:
·         Gates Gives $42 Million to Safe Sanitation Projects
·         Young Baseball Fan's Act of Generosity Caught on TV
·         North and South Korea Hold Constructive Talks
·         Logging Plummets in Mexico Reserve for the Monarch Butterfly
·         Terrified Kitten Rescued From Irish Freeway
·         Danish Mystery Donor Leaves $200,000 in Red Cross Bin
·         Healthy Snow Leopard Population Found in Afghanistan
·         From Down and Out to Happiness: It’s a Wonderful Life (If you let it be)
·         "Liter of Light" Brings Sun into Dim Shanties Using Only Plastic Bottles
·         Dalai Lama Offers A Roadmap to Inner Peace
·         Former Child Refugee Becomes Hero to Hundreds of Afghan Orphans
·         Teen Athlete Gives Entire $40K Scholarship Prize to Runners-up
·         U.S. Returns Recovered Artifacts Taken From Iraq  

And the best news of all:
·         Research: People Who Look on the Bright Side Age Best