Posted by: chlost | November 2, 2011

It’s a mad, mad world

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when I was a teenager, my grandmother often bemoaned the state of the world. “What IS this world coming to?” she would ask upon seeing boys with long hair, girls in short dresses, and police beating up protesters on the news. It was a common lament among the adults in my life. I grew up with middle-class parents in the midwestern United States. People didn’t like change very much. As far as they were concerned, the rest of the country was going crazy.

Now I know how she feels. These are just some of the news stories I read today while doodling away my time online:

A nine-year-old girl was pepper sprayed by police and then arrested when she had a “temper tantrum” on the school bus.

A college student visiting New York City was arrested and held for 36 hours when she did not have an ID card when stopped by police for trespassing in Central Park. The police officer would not allow her friend-who had an ID-to go back to the hotel to obtain her ID card.

A woman claims that Justin Bieber fathered her baby when he was sixteen years old.

A big-money law firm which represented banks in foreclosure actions wore Halloween costumes which  mocked those people whose home loans were foreclosed by that firm .

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to reaffirm the United States’ motto “In God We Trust” while at the same time Senate Republicans were filibustering an infrastructure based jobs bill sponsored by Democrat Amy Klobuchar (and supported by President Obama).

The National Basketball Association team owners and players cannot agree on how to split the millions (billions?) of dollars that the public provides to them, resulting in the team owners instigating a lock-out of the players and a delay of the opening of the basketball season. It is yet to be determined if there will be any season at all.

The Oakland, California police came with riot gear, rubber bullets, and tear gas to attempt to break up the “Occupy” protesters last weekend. A military veteran was injured by police.  Now, the support for those protesters has grown, leading to a proposed strike at the Oakland port, protests at a bank in Seattle, and nationwide marches.

And, last but certainly not least, another politician has been caught in a scandal regarding sexual harassment. Herman Cain, was the head of the National Restaurant Association when he settled a harassment claim brought by two women. He apparently does not have a very good memory, as he has claimed not to recall much about the incident. Wonderful qualities in a President of the United States.

Sorry grandma, I should never have mocked you for your “old-fashioned” thinking. I empathize.

I just don’t know what this world is coming to.




  1. I share your pain!!! I keep telling myself to quit reading/listening to this you-know-what (insert your favorite Anglo-Saxon barbarism) but it’s like a bad accident and I can’t look away. Still, when I get a call from a very nice college student asking me to help with the fight against the union-busting bill we have on the ballot in Ohio, it tells me that their are rays of hope out there. And no, I can’t help — Saturday is my time with our local “Occupy” group. brrrrrrrr

    • Sometimes I stay away from the news, and then I feel irresponsible for not knowing what is happening. But most of the stuff I found for this post is not true news. It was just crazy awful stuff. I get so tired of that. Good for you for getting down there with the Occupiers. I heard on NPR that your petition to take back the law has unprecedented support. You go!

  2. That’s why I’m slowly weaning myself off the news. I’m sure there are plenty of positive stories out there but they usually aren’t considered newsworthy.

    • I wish they would include at least a few positive stories. I little hope can do wonders. Just look at how wall street reacts to mere rumors.

  3. I had to quit reading/watching news a few years ago … too much of it aggravates me. If not the actual stories, the horrible slant (one way or the other) used to “spin” it. 😦

    • I think the spin is the hardest thing to take. I get so frustrated. I go in waves-I will watch, then I will boycott the news.

  4. It is so tempting not to watch the news. I have a friend who never watches and while in her mid forties, has nary a wrinkle. Of course she is left out in most conversations that involve current events.
    I am tapering off daily news myself but still need to watch enough that I can vote intelligently. It is a tough balance.

    • The daily news rarely covers things that I find objective or even interesting. I count on NPR for a lot of it. I find my intelligence to be insulted by the networks.

  5. I agree with ya 100%. Watching the news now has gotten totally depressing. It has gotten to be where any positive news is saved for the last 2 minutes of the news broadcast, because their simply is no actual positive news on most days. I feel for my kids. I fear things are only going to get worse in coming years. I wish they had grown up in the same era that I did. Sure, there were tons of problems back then as well, but we were not bombarded with all the bad news 24 hrs a day on dozens of news channels, social media, websites, etc.

    • I truly fear for my grandchildren. The “positive news” is almost always some fluff stuff that is irrelevant to the world. Is there truly no world/political news that is positive? When the news makes you completely negative, I don’t believe it is accurate. It feels like propaganda.

  6. What a battle just putting all those items into bullet points and thinking about them at once. In my aged wisdom (I kid), I’ve decided that we as people are destined to be nostalgic for a better age that never was. I have to believe some things have gotte better but still think the world sucks astronomically.

    • Perhaps someday you will be looking back on this as the “good old days”. That is a bit depressing to us old folks. I am also depressed that many of the younger folks have no sense of hope for a better world.

  7. Oh yeah. I am thinking the same thing with my post today.

    • Great minds think alike, eh?

  8. It’s hard to read the news and remain pleasant. No wonder some of us more mature people get grouchy.

    • Only the mature can appreciate the full ramifications of the news. Grouchy has become the new normal.

      • We need to stay informed about what is happening in the world so that we can act responsibly, but we have to find other news sources. As many people have mentioned, reading online news outside of the U.S. or listening to NPR to get some in-depth analysis. I’m allergic to TV news – it makes my arm twitch and then I start throwing things.

      • My allergic reaction tends toward talking back in a very loud voice. Husband calls it screaming.

  9. I watch Jon Stewart – at least he makes fun of the news. If I want to learn about something though I usually go to the BBC or the French newspapers then click on major newspapers in different countries, like Canada, India, South Africa, Australia and see how they report the event. I don’t trust the US news much because they are owned by corporations and are not independent. As an example they don’t report OWS the right way. They only show part of the people there and don’t report about some elements infiltrating to agitate and give OWS a bad name. I saw that when I visited NYC.

    • I agree that the BBC and other news outlets provide a much more varied and accurate reporting of the world’s news. I also watch the Daily Show. His research is impeccable. I fear for our country with the lack of world view and skewered information provided to the average citizen. It is quite scary that most people in this country know more about Kim Kardashian’s marriage/separation than know about OWS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: