"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Thursday, September 3, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T is Not Just a Song Title

I've been thinking of a post all day regarding respect for others. Last night, I caught a live town hall meeting on cable and watched it disintegrate into an old-fashioned barroom brawl. Today, looking at the "news" on my PC, I began reading totally vile posts from various "news" sites where people curse and call total strangers insulting names (language like that would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap even into my late teens).

News writing--when I was in school--was not a place for opinion or conjecture. A news story (and I won awards for school newspaper writing) consisted of WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW. Anything else went on the "op-ed" or editorial page. Somehow, those lines have become extremely blurred. News is buried under an avalanche of conjecture, supposition, and layers of "expert commentary". News reports are not meant to be entertainment--they are to inform. The "straight scoop" on any subject is extremely hard to find and (dare I say it) cannot be condensed into short sound-bites. So, the side who gets heard most is often the side who shouts loudest or pays best...

We can disagree without being childish boors, can't we? I can respect a studied opinion even if I don't agree with it--I have no respect for adults who revert to infantile behaviors such as shouting, name-calling and spitting on others.

No comments:

Post a Comment