Thursday, 18 April 2013

Grauniad News

I'm grateful to the Guardian for two recent stories.

1. The first is a fascinating confirmation of a conclusion that I came to a few years ago : News is Bad for you. Here's an extract:

News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.

News, the article explains, makes us passive and uncreative. It misleads, inhibits thinking and creativity and we'd all be better off if we didn't succumb to the daily "fixes" of the drug of news.

I'm very much in agreement with this analysis by Mr Rolf Dobelli and have withdrawn from the habit of putting the 6pm, 9pm or 10pm News on, then going to bed to listen to The World Tonight before waking up to John Humphies grumping at some wretched politician. Actually this is not entirely unconnected with the feelings of a certain Mrs Rine, who threw the bedside radio out the window some years ago.  I now get most of my news via the prism of Private Eye and The News Quiz, both of which are analytical and funny. It's highly recommended.

2. The second Guardian insight was from their new "Guardian Witness" section which is designed to make Citizen Journalists of us all by crowd sourcing news and opinions. In a section on the Impact of Austerity Britain, readers were requested to submit stories about the way in which the fierce cutbacks of the Tory scum and their Libdem running dogs has changed our way of life.

This poor Islington woman's story had me flapping my hands at my face in that way you do to stop yourself breaking down in tears. It is, I warn you, gut-wrenchingly sad so please turn away now if you are likely to be emotionally choked by this sharp image of the deprivation that this poor wretch has had thrust upon her.


Z said...

I feel a small sense of achievement at wiring a plug and am sorry that all appliances come ready wired nowadays. I'm a Neanderthal. I'm also almost unable to read the newspapers any more - since two are delivered every day, this is a bit of a waste.

Zig said...

I love Private Eye and the News Quiz! Also HIGNFY - it's taken me ages to work out what that stood for at the bottom of the screen.

Also I've always been able to wire a plug, I can even still do it while claiming benefits! Perhaps I should get work as an electrician as they are taking my benefit off me, the Tory scum, just because I'm getting a pension! I really don't know what this country is coming to.

*shakes head sadly


(I put that smiley face in case you thought I was being serious - you can't be too careful these days, I don't want that wanker Cameron suing me for calling the Tory party scum)

Tim said...

She can afford modern appliances? In my day the wires were red, black and (I think) green.
I do think the Graduain proves itself the only 'news' source worthy of the read, if only by virtue of being able to publish a piece explaining why we shouldn't be reading it. And Steve Bell of course. And Doonesbury.

dinahmow said...

I haven't wired a plug in decades!I used to.Well, had to, when London's sockets were so varied nothing came with a plug! And I mended fuses, too.Nowadays, we have those fancy-dancy things that just a have a trip switch. The scariest thing is not knowing, especially in the dark, what sort of arachnids are in the meter box!

Martin said...

Seems as though we'll all be making and writing our own headlines before too long.

Rog said...

Z: I used to be very gung-ho, sticking bare wires into sockets. We have to collect free papers to light the fire in Winter.

Zig: Hignfy just gets better and better - last week's Brian Blessed one where he was asking Gerry Adams for a fight was a classic!

Tim: It is a bit like a Turkey voting for Christmas. Or a news organization giving all their content away for nothing online ;-)

Di: I can vaguely remember people plugging their iron into the overhead light socket. Ironing shirts in the dark - that's the spirit!

Martin: I don't think any of us have a vivid enough imagination to invent the present headlines. It's like April 1 every day.

Liz said...

It's years since I wired a plug; brown to the right and blue to the left isn't it?

I followed the link you put on Facebook last week to that article about news being bad for you. I haven't seen the TV news since. I don't miss it in the slightest. Not having to shout at the television at lunch time is wonderful. I also avoided Twitter for 6 whole days and didn't miss that much either. I've had to find other things to do, which has made a nice change.

Nota Bene said...

The plug image is shocking...
..assume the reason I am so short is because I read too much news..

John Greenwood said...


Pat said...

More good reasons for not reading the Guardian.

Mike and Ann said...

I tried doing the Gadurian crossword once (I think it was the Manchester Gadurian at that time)and I couldn't get into it at all. Since then I've stuck to the Telegraph or Times - prefer the Telegraph, the letters are better (usually) and I don't like the fact that the Times has become the same size as the Sun/Daily Mirror.

Linda said...

I do my best to not read the news, as most of it is bad...and most of it I cannot do anything to remedy. You have a very nice blog.

mig bardsley said...

I stopped getting daily news during the gulf war because I was getting indigestion before breakfast.

What is that thing? A very small fridge?