Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The News

Thursday, 05 February 2009

I’m slipping into depression.  Not a physical one.  But an emotional one.

About a year and a half ago I saw a little flyer tucked in with the rest of the junk mail in the mailbox.  It was a request from the bi-weekly local newspaper seeking someone to take over the route in my neighbourhood.  Since I have always tried my best to ensure that my son has had a good upbringing, I thought this would be a great way to teach him a few things, responsibility and finances.  I asked him (he was 7) if he thought he would like to have this paper route, trying not to gloss over the rainy days, or the lack of a real fortune.  He agreed to take on this responsibility, and so far, has done an admirable job.  I am very proud of him.

This isn’t why I’m slipping.

I do realize that the “News” that he delivers is not much more than a medium to transport and deliver Flyers and other advertisements… One of our neighbours next door asked that if we delivered to him, could it be sans-insert, which has shown us what a lot of extra weight these adverts make up.  The other use for this paper seems to be (besides a wonderful absorbent when frying fish!) as a medium for fledgling editors and reporters.  You know the kind, the ones who think that the spell-check feature will find all mistakes.  The kind that think that News about the homeless, drug-users must be on the front-page every time! 

This is my worry.

I realize that this paper is published by the same folks who have another weekly “more worldly” paper.  I do also know that “Fluff” on the front won’t grab the reader’s attention.  But for crying out loud!  Do I have to read about the latest effort to save the 60 or so rubbies that can’t (won’t) find a room last night? 

Living in Greater Victoria (myself in Vic West), which has a population of approximately 330,000, wouldn’t I and the most of my free-hold, tax-paying neighbours be better served with news that affects a larger population?  Maybe even the some of us who actually receive and read the free news.

I’m more interested in finding out what the local Economy or Arts program has to offer.  I am more apt to pick up and read an article on what a local Professor from the University has accomplished.  Tell me about the density (or lack thereof) of the Dungeonous Crabs in our waters.  Since we are a “Navy” town, tell me what’s happening with our ships.  I’m sure there are more people affected by military spending than how much room there is in the Sally-Ann.  As someone who passes by the Salvation Army building at least twice a day, I do see that there are the “unemployable” types there.  There are always four or more gents outside the front, smoking with a coffee in hand, having pointed discussions with themselves, but news this is NOT!

Open Door, Mustard Seed, Salvation Army, Needle Exchange, Streetlink, Cool-Aid and the like are all services, that probably deserve our support while solutions to the “Epidemic Problem” of homelessness is cured.  BUT.  I don’t need to read about it every frikken week!

I will now end homelessness:  “If you have a child, raise him or her to be able to live.  Educate him to know about food, shelter, finances, hobbies, intoxicants, right and wrong.  If you yourself are not able to cope with any of these things on your own, then… DON’T HAVE CHILDREN!  Everyone who has a child is responsible for that child.  Forever!”

Just as I don’t expect any of you to pay for my son’s hockey equipment, or my daughter’s ballet classes, don’t expect me to pay for your son’s Needle exchange or your daughter’s clean blanket at the shelter.

From a very young age we are quite aware of the pitfalls of our choices.  Don’t lie to me or yourself, telling me that you didn’t know 95% of what’s right and wrong by your 12th birthday.

There are the odd cases, I’m sure you’ll tell me of the poor soul who lost all his family in a head-on crash with an alcoholic-child-molesting mass-murderer at the age of 9.  Then was moved around from agency to agency, not feeling any true caring, only to grow up a socially dysfunctional drug-pusher.  Then forced out on the street by society’s lack of understanding and too many Starbucks!  This might be true, but I don’t want to hear about it on a bi-weekly basis.  It’s also a disservice to give the likes of David Arthur Johnston, and Kristen Woodruff (two self-professed homeless-by-choicers) a “voice” to their own asinine agendas.

I would hope that The News we read, need and heed is relevant and topical.  If we must have our thoughts provoked, let’s have the editorials do that.  Until that actually happens I’ll keep reading what my son gets 3.5 cents to deliver, hype about the 0.00018% of the population.  How depressing.

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