Self censoring news to improve New Forest well being

No more bad news please!

How to stay positive when swimming against a tide of doom!

Hugh Lohan cartoon censorshipThe first of a new series featuring gentle entertainment and humour for times of confinement and stress – kindly written by local resident Mark Symons, photographic cartoons by Hugh Lohan.

8 April 2020

Would life be better if we were to self-censor?

"The power of the media is immense. Yesterday my wife returned from the weekly shop to report that once more madness had descended with car parks completely full and queues around the block. I found this news rather odd because up until yesterday people had appeared to be calming down and no longer bulk buying. Personally, I had put this down to the possibility that there simply wasn’t any more freezer or shelf space to store their booty and that the food they had bought was beginning to smell a bit, after all, there’s only so much a fridge can do for us. Also, how many loo rolls can you fit into the smallest room before you can’t actually use the thing?

The most innocent headline

The reason for the recent spate of madness was there for all to see in the Times which my wife had kindly bought me. There was a headline engineered by the ferry operators who are clearly angling for taxpayer’s money which said that because they couldn’t afford to run the ferries carrying freight alone, they would have to cancel some crossings which could result in shortages at the shops.

Yes, Dear Reader, that’s all it took.

Fake news or true?

Furthermore beware of what has been termed quite recently as Fake News. Most of us know someone who has been taken in by a false news story so when something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If something seems too fantastical to be true, it might well be. We shouldn’t be cynical of course but we can be wary - and check our sources.

The wisdom of Desiderata 

Desiderata has lots of helpful advice including: "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, for they are vexatious to the spirit."

If I could alter just one line for our benefit it would be:

"Avoid loud and disturbing media for it can be vexatious to the spirit."

How we can be selective about what we choose to read

Recently there was a furore regarding the behaviour of a certain police force for aggressively enforcing social distancing upon two dog walkers (on a blooming mountain if you please) when in the same news item passengers on the London Underground could be seen crammed together like sardines in a tin.

People struggled with the message.

Similarly, two MPs sat at benches huddled close together in order to whisper a message behind a hand in order to defeat lip readers.

Again, people struggled with the message.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it might be better to turn away when we are confronted with these very obvious injustices.

Yes, there are those that say we should rise up and march to parliament with our pitchforks but really? Is that really going to happen? My view is that if we as people of an optimistic bent concentrate on good, concentrate on giving and caring, then we will feel better about ourselves and the world when it comes to gin o’clock. Also, let’s face it, after gin o’clock we always feel better about ourselves! It’s how alcohol works!

Let’s look on the bright side

So, dear readers, let us all censor our media intake for the benefit of our souls. Things are tough enough without us heaping more misery onto our already full plates. Again, returning to Desiderata, Be Cheerful! Strive to be happy."

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