Wednesday, 30 September 2009

More from Thoreau

I picked up "Walden" again last night, for a few more pages on some thought-provoking insight. He wrote of the beauty of each new day dawning, each morning being a chance to lift ourselves higher than yesterday. Somehow the dawn of a new day speaks to artists; I certainly have experienced this. I have been at my most creative when I have taken an early morning hike through the wilderness of a forest, letting the early light fall on my shoulders and awaken my mind and spirit.

He also had a humourous passage about the nonsense that is news today (it applied 150 years ago, and I think rings even truer today). Who has decided that murders, car crashes, accidents, disasters and such are news? Sure, they are tragedies, but they really are personal tragedies, affecting the lives of those directly involved. I feel it is nothing more than a sick form of voyeurism that we feel the need to watch images and hear the stories of these awful events. And besides - once I have seen one car accident scene, why do I need to see another, and another and another? This has not expanded my world view, challenged my ideas, or informed me about world and community events. The way I see it, these "news items" are no better than any of the other drivel on TV today. Thoreau makes the point that, other than a few items here and there, the news stories could have been written last week, last month, last year, and no one would suspect it. Argh. In case you can't tell, this is a real pet peave of mind, and I got a good chuckle out of the fact that we haven't seem to have progressed at all in this area in the last 150 years.

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