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Monday, 4.4.05: So What Else Is Happening?
We had two weeks of all-Schaivo/all-the-time and no sooner has she died, we launch into all-Pope/all-the-time. I'm starting to wonder what else is going on in the world. I guess there is still a war in Iraq, that Osama bin Laden goes uncaptured, that the Social Security system is still being assailed and that Jennifer and Brad are still breaking up but I certainly can't find anything on TV about them.
I think the all-news networks need one more spin-off. We have a headline news channel and several financial news channels. We need the Big Story channel to go along with a Big Picture channel. One channel if you can't get enough of the latest melodrama and one channel for seeing that melodrama against everything else that's going on in the world.
Maybe it's too much to ask TV to step back and see the big picture. It's easier to simply jump from one melodrama to the next. One week it's life at any cost -- Terry must be saved! -- as if she were a child at the bottom of a well. Only life is good, no matter how crappy! Anyone who thinks differently must belong to a death cult!
Suddenly, we are whipsawed to Rome hearing that the Pope embraced life, then embraced death and continued his journey on into heaven. Given the Schaivo case, I would have expected Congress to demand that the U.N. intervene to get the Pope on life supports. But no, in a surprise reversal, TV reporters remind us that Heaven awaits God's children and we must not be afraid.
Maybe the Big Picture answer is that I should turn off the TV and read newspapers and blogs. Or maybe just forget about the world and read a good novel.