Saturday, March 21, 2015

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Since the time I followed baseball box scores, at the age of six, I've been a news hound. I devoured something we called "the news." My older brother and I would hungrily await the afternoon delivery of The (Stamford) Advocate, hand it to our father, just home from work at the factory, and then respectfully wait for him to drop the sports section (or any other section, for that matter) after he finished reading it. "Current Events," another name for news, was always my best subject in school all the years before high school, and I was the best in that subject, long before trivia games that featured "current events" became popular. Lately? Not so much. As John Lennon lamented in song, "I read the news today, oh boy." Oh boy is right. What does the Gospel of Matthew say, "wars and rumors of war"? Oh, we've gone beyond wars, rumors of wars, all right. Beheadings, slaughter, burnings, torture, suicide bombings, and myriad forms of mayhem and carnage. Yes, these woes are not new to the human form except in the particulars. But lately I want to avert my eyes . . . and ears and so forth. It does not mean I want to be oblivious to the suffering and travails of the human condition. Though when I was younger, it used to be that this knowledge, these informations, somehow led to more empathy on my part, whether I was moved to action or thought. Was that so? Me, a news nut. Driving around in the car, always sure to catch the NPR news on the hour, if I'm listening to the radio, and not a music CD. Not so much. Not today. Burying my head in the sand, you say? Sounds like the latest atrocity.

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