It seems that over the last decade or so, there have been as many ways to digest the news of the impending doom of the universe as there are actually ways for the universe to meet said doom. But how do we really feel about it? Do we read/watch/inhale the news because we feel we have to? Are fart jokes and drawing cocks such embarrassing activities that we really feel we have to qualify our existence as adults by swallowing down whatever horrifying event has befallen the world? Or is it a case of simply watching it to thank the almighty fuck that your life isn't as shit as you thought it was when you see what some people are forced to go through?

The news has grown into an entertainment feature in and of itself, and not in a "laugh at all the corpses and thank fuck that bomb didn't go off here" kind of way. It's become sexy, slick and polished. Gone are the days of a boring man in glasses with a horrible tie telling you that a flesh-eating virus has escaped and is ringing your doorbell. The boring man is still there with a horrible tie, but now his pained and borderline constipated expression is in ultra high definition, and he's surrounded by what amounts to minstrels and jesters dancing around permanently with their butts and boobs out to try and maintain the one vital commodity in the world these days: consumer attention.

Glamorous grandmother
Now you see me, now I'm old.

The news is either a laughing stock, or taken with borderline religious seriousness, depending who you ask. But the thing is, it's not going away. So we have to ask ourselves what we really want from it. It's all very well to laugh at the tinsel-draped turds that pass for stories, but if next to nobody is willing to watch the boring man be boring as he reports all the horrible things going on in the world, then you can't blame the news for trying to be more appealing.

The news seems to relish in the fact that we're all mired in the shit, that really we've got about as much chance of a stress-free existence as Jewish foreskin.You can generally think of the news as like a very desperate old granny trying hard to appeal to as wide a demographic as possible, plastering herself in clownish makeup, wearing a top so low the sagging vaginal lips drag along the floor in desperation. The more I think of it, the more I have some sympathy for the news in general. Humans by and large don't like swallowing bitter pills, and there is no bitterer pill to swallow than the constant barrage of misery that makes up most of our day to day lives. Be it a deadly leaked virus, a bomb that's been let off, or news that a politician has done anything other than stay in bed not moving or breathing, chances are they're going to be telling you something you don't want to hear.

And they have to do it in a way that makes you not vomit blood and start ripping the paint off the walls in hopeless fury. And they have to compete with attention spans equal to those of a shrew's at a fireworks display. Bite-size chunks of misery plastered on internet news sites, telling you in a very concise and clear way just how and why you're going to die in agony. BUT, do it in such a way that you're going to actually read it through to the end rather than just click away to watch a video of a cat masturbating or something.

They have to wrap up the news that forty young children were obliterated in a bombing raid, that the economy is held together with chewing gum, that humanity is getting worse and worse by the moment, and that we're growing even more fiercely efficient at hating each other, and they have to do it up in a neat, lovely little package so while reading it you don't just lose the will to live and cut your own throat with a cereal-caked spoon.

It's a hard task these newscasters have, or at least that's what I tell myself on those rare moments in the day when I'm not weeping or masturbating in my own disgust. But, I also have to wonder what the point of it all is, except just to fucking depress us on a constant basis. There has been a multitude of horrible stories reported over the years, and nothing has really been done as a result of that exposure. All that really happens is a collective "tut" and occasionally a mild sigh and then really, it all fades away into "yesterday's news," a phrase which typifies the problem. We reported it already, so let's move onto something fresh.

The notion that some of the less honorable news sites relish in the mass appeal of horrifying events doesn't really shock me or disgust me much, since news has lost all meaning as an actual service; it's just another entertainment medium now. No matter how you digest it and where you got it, chances are there's been some horrible corruption and twisting of facts along the way that this story you're reading about the rise in the soiling of ballet leg warmers actually started out as a piece about Chechen war orphans and their dislike for Monopoly.

The world can be a truly awful place, and the news admits that. But it also glamorizes it. It seems to relish in the fact that we're all mired in the shit, that really we've got about as much chance of a stress-free existence as Jewish foreskin. The lighter stories—the ones about the occasional good things people do—are always buried under ten other stories about how many people were killed when the lunatic went on a rampage with his Wheaties-coated spoon.

Ultimately, I can't help but wish there were at least a few sources that just reported the news as it was. Plain facts about the world and what's going on in it, without any sort of politics or personal speculation. Just the plain facts. It may not be very sexy, but I think there's a market for it. Though, as long as there's advertising revenue to be made from the deaths of millions and the flesh-eating viruses that are coming for all of us with their knives and forks at the ready, I doubt we'll see much of anything.

So I suppose all you can do is take it with a grain of salt. Now, where's my cereal spoon?

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