Sunday, August 30, 2015

in the news

hello there

it's rare, look you see, that i consult the news too much these days. quite frankly it feels like i have had a lifetime of news to go through already, i don't particularly have the energy to go through yet more. this is not to say i remain entirely ignorant, dear reader - perhaps it's better to say that i just have a cursory glance at stories these days rather than read much in detail. except of course when something is of immediate relevance or interest to me. so i do and yet do not consult the news, i guess.

get to the point, you ask, and i say yes. here we go with two stories from the last week that caught my eye and were ones that posed questions that apparently had answers beyond the scope of the information in the newspaper articles themselves.

first off, then, on to the Sunday Sport, which has an interesting way of approaching this "obesity crisis" which both the UK and the rest of the world appear to be perpetually facing.

the immediate question i had about this story was one of why was it that, no matter how many of them she ate, the lady at the heart of the article had to eat the onion rings naked. i mean, i appreciate that it is displays of skin which is the main selling point for the Sport, but does this mean that every story requires more skin than cloth to be on display?

beyond that i understand the cultural reference point used, even if i am not 100% sure of what the cultural reference point actually is. my knowledge of Cheryl Cole is that i think she is one of them Geordies, i am pretty sure her surname was off of an ill-fated marriage to one of them footballers, and i believe that she was also some sort of singer.

what i don't understand, however, is if the lady in question set out to eat (naked) the body weight equivalent of Cheryl Cole in onion rings each month, of if the amount she eats happens to be the same as whatever it is Cheryl Cole weighs, and that's why the reference is there.

in regards of the increasing obesity rates around the world - a matter that the Sport did not directly mention in the article but i think it's fair to say there was tacit reference - it's not as bad as is made out. obesity is still calculated on the basis of a BMI, or if you like body mass index, from the early part of the 20th century. it does not allow for the fact that average heights and lifespans have increased substantially. it is still, no doubt, a problem, but perhaps not to the epic, spiralling out of control no matter what anyone does (except review BMI calculations) extent that gets reported.

possibly slightly more serious ground here, and the tragic, indeed senseless shooting of two people live on TV  in America. no, i didn't buy The Sun, this is off the copy that my Uncle had (not that one or that one, the other one) and i had reason to see the front of.

what i don't really understand is why this incident - and ones like it - in America is considered something to be the dominant news story in both the UK and around the world.

it is not a trivial story, and i do not mean to suggest it is. the story, however, has absolutely no relevance around the world at all. there is a difference, believe it or not, between "freedom to know and access all news" and "is this news relevant and noteworthy to the audience". i would suggest in respect of the latter that it isn't.

indeed it does seem, to my untrained eyes, that The Sun have elected to "doctor" that picture some, to make it all the more dramatic. i am not sure if The Sun has a track record for doctoring or altering information that it reports on to suit sales figures and the editorial line they want in place, you would have to ask someone else about that.

the day that this sorry event happened saw it become, as mentioned, the primary focus of all news outlets here  in England. why? i mean, why were English people phoning an English radio station to express their views and opinions on gun control in America? it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with us - they don't ask us for a view, and whatever we think of what they do with firearms is not going to have any bearing on what they do at all.

i suppose it could have been put forward as the lead story for political reasons. a distraction, if you like. if everyone across the UK is presented with this, then there's no need to allow focus on more closer to home stories in the news. the hidden agenda, perhaps, is along the lines of "oh, look how much better life in England is; you can't even be a TV presenter in America without being shot".

one suspects, however, that the reason for this irrelevant to the UK story was given such prominence was due to somewhat less intelligent thinking. it seems that news agendas, be they television or newspapers, are driven by what is "trending" on "social media".  just as everyone - globally -  is expected to conform, to toe the line and express how everything is the worst and most tragic thing ever and then forget all about it the next day on things like that twerker and the snapbook one, so news editors feel they must report it as it is "what the world is talking about". the wood for the trees, then; perhaps maybe they should consider why the world is talking about it before rushing to deliver copy. hey ho.

anyway, time for some chicken, methinks.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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