The sounds of ‘intense shelling’ fill the air above Gaza. Nine Palestinian children blown to bits while playing in a park beside a hospital. I am sickened and afraid for the future. The UN special monitor says that the shooting of Malaysia flight 17 was a war crime – cause by a massive in-air explosion. The worst outbreak of the Ebola virus crushing Liberia, health workers are dying trying to make a difference and there are fears the spread is only a plane ride away. Swimmers at Venice Beach, Californium are fried by lightning. A pilot in Florida lands his small plane on a beach in Florida killing a father and injuring his daughter as they are out for a walk. The devastating photos of the after-effects of Israeli bombs – a torn rubber sandals (child-sized) spotted with blood, a ripped headscarf, a random pile of damaged stuffed toys in the gutter. A popular baby monitor manufactured since 2011 is a strangulation hazard to babies. Killings, maimings, rapes all perpetrated in the name of God, Allah and who knows what other being. Ebola, famine, floods and fires are Mother Nature’s way of balancing the depredations manufactured by man.
Honestly, is the world any better now than it was 100 years ago on 28 June 1914 when a starving wannabe revolutionary named Gavrilo Princip fired into a horse drawn carriage carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie? Now we have religious zealots around the world who want things their way or else they’ll kill to get it.
As much as I’m desperate to know what’s going on around the world, the quality of news reporting has become almost non-existent. Even the most respected outlets – The New York Times, the BBC – cannot always be relied on to be truthful. For years, the first thing I did in the morning was to tap over to The Paperboy to check out what was happening in the world of print journalism. So much of it now is bad or just plain stupid. I think what I’m going to do is stop listening to the news and reading the newspapers.
In the old days, we would have said, ‘God help us” or “pray for peace”. I’m not sure what that means any more.