Marchbooks' Blog

June 21, 2009

Twitter on the Evening News by Janus Kane

Filed under: In the News — marchbooks @ 8:22 pm
Tags: , ,

I enjoy Twitter. It is a great resource and I have met some interesting people there. Without question, Twitter has found a place in today’s society. Having said that, I have to ask – am I the only one who is a bit concerned at the fact that television news seems to be doing some of their story research on Twitter?

I am not talking about the constant references to Twitter as a social networking site. No, what I’m referring to is the actual citing of Twitter Tweets as news. I was stunned to see the evening news, last night, reference the Tweets of opposing parties in their report of the Tehran conflict. Seriously, is this what news reporting in our country has come to?

For some time now, news disseminators  have been getting their story ideas from the Internet, but now it seems that they are getting the story itself there. Has the Internet become one-stop-shopping for reporters? Will television and newspaper reporting agencies now be satisfied with regurgitating the same information we can find on our laptops?

I think my biggest problem with this, besides the duplicity of it, is the question of credibility. How easily could a twitter account, or many other Internet sources for that matter, be pirated, hacked or just plain manipulated to provide false information. Call me crazy, but when I tune into the nightly ‘news’ I would at least like to preserve the illusion that the stories I am hearing about have been researched and verified by a news reporting agency that I can trust.

I realize that news reporting, like so many things in today’s society, must change in the face of the Internet age. This change, however, does not seem to be progress.

The Little Insanity

June 20, 2009

Our Moral Compass is Bent by M.J. Claire

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 1:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

I should begin by making it clear that I am not some bible-thumping zealot who is forecasting the end of days. However, it would take a blind man to miss the fact that our society it quickly sliding into an abyss. No doubt, the recent economic downturn is not helping matters. There is also no denying that there will always be bad apples.

There has always been and will probably always be rape, assault, murder, incest etc. We see it every day on the news and that is nothing new. What is new is the ever increasing lifting of what was once taboo or at least more revered. It seems that the nightly news, on an increasingly regular basis, now includes reports of the murder of small children. It is almost becoming de riguer, losing its ability to shock us.

Corporate greed is now measured in billions rather than thousands of dollars. The figures are mind boggling in their magnitude. As some people struggle through their days living in their car, others among us think nothing of bilking the elderly or indigent out of their meager savings, just so that they can pad an already overflowing bank account.

Sex, drugs, gambling, alcoholism and violence are more commonplace than ever with our children. The line of demarcation between adult behavior and juvenile behavior is getting greyer by the day. Even with the ready availability of numerous contraceptive options, teenage pregnancy is rampant. Some of those girls think nothing of leaving their new progeny in the nearest trash receptacle.

Children today have lost their ability to be children. They are overwhelmed by racing technology and peer pressure to meet all kinds of superficial standards. Their immature minds are not able to process the violence they are seeing, causing them to lose perspective. Consider this example of animal cruelty at its worst http://blogs.catster.com/the-cats-meow-a-cat-and-kitten-blog/take-action-to-urge-punishment-in-cat-cruelty-case/2009/06/17/ . This girl, with complete awareness and disregard of the consequences, put a small living creature into a hot oven. Does anyone out there, after reading this girl’s defense, doubt that she would have just as casually done this to a neighbor’s infant child, if she felt it would serve her agenda?

These occurrences have gone far beyond simple ‘right and wrong’. It is a societal down slide of monumental proportions. If we don’t stop the fall, it will come crashing down on all of us. I’m not much on Biblical references, but does Sodom and Gomorrah ring any bells? We need to repair our moral compass and quickly. Failure to do so could be catastrophic, at which time, our failing economy will be the least of our problems.

 

 

Night Sweats b smallforwebmychangesforning

June 12, 2009

Chasing the Dragon – More Thoughts on Addiction by Janus Kane

The Little InsanityThe story, ‘The Little Insanity’ revolves around six 30-something people who are struggling with relationship and addiction issues. It is not that uncommon a dynamic. I think that one of the reasons why people relate to this story is because it is familiar. Although it is exaggerated, it mirrors many peoples’ lives. 

Admittedly, this story takes some of these issues to their extremes, extremes that most of us don’t experience in our own lives. This is another reason why people find the book appealing. It is comforting for us to be able to look at these characters and think, ‘see, my life is not that screwed up’.

Some readers may look at these characters and think, ‘I’m nothing like these people. I’m not an alcoholic, I don’t participate in risky sex and I don’t abuse drugs’. For those people, I might say, you are missing the point.

I believe that ‘The Little Insanity’ speaks more to our similarities than to our differences. Addictions are common to more of us than we would like to admit. Addictions are as varied as the people who cultivate them. They are not all as lethal as alcohol or drugs, but they can all rule our lives in ways we might not like to admit.

As different as addictions can be, they all share one common theme: all addictions spring from ‘The Pleasure Principle’. The most common human goal is the pursuit of pleasure, or conversely, the avoidance or pain. For some of us, that equates to suppressing bad memories, for others it means avoiding boredom and for the most extreme cases it means just feeling something. We are all bombarded with these feelings every day, the most common and debilitating of them is the recognition of our own mortality.

The only question that remains is how we will deal with those feelings. Will we go to the liquor cabinet or the refrigerator? Will we flop onto a mattress in a downtown crack house or onto a featherbed with your best friend’s spouse? Will we run our family into debt with credit card purchases or drive them crazy with our need to insinuate ourselves into their lives? Perhaps we will just numb our minds with hours in front of the television or computer.

Heroin addicts have used the term ‘chasing the dragon’ to mean their pursuit of the perfect high. I believe that we are all chasing the dragon. We are all in search of that one thing that will give our lives meaning, that will make us feel, that will define our place in this imperfect world.  Some of us find a healthy anchor to hold onto while others of us continue to chase the dragon. The unlucky ones among us catch the dragon, only to find out that he is mean and he has razor sharp teeth.

Until we realize that our lives are not perfect and they are not supposed to be perfect, we will constantly be in search of something to make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. Only when we stop pointing fingers at ‘those addicts’ will we be able to recognize our commonalities and become closer in our shared frailties.

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