13 April 2008

Five Will Get You Ten...

Well, we’re up to 35 trees. Keep it going!

Cold weather, I think the last harrumph of winter. My bizarre brain imagines a scene from an old B&W movie from the 1930s, those with elegant people with faint English accents where the men have double breasted suits and pencil moustaches and women wear their hair in artful buns and rolls atop their heads. Winter is the sadder but wiser girl who is being jilted for someone younger and more demure. She looks sideways at her feckless swain, draws a long breath on a cigarette, moves to walk away; then comes back and slaps him across the face before flinging her fox over her shoulder as she leaves the room.

In fact, the sun has just come out, despite the cold temperatures. Bluets dot the lawn next door. This week it will get above 60 F. I will get over her.

Have you noticed how politics has faded in the last two weeks? Without an election to handicap, what is there to say?

Plenty, if we were talking about the national agenda and future. I read about struggles in the airlines industry with rising fuel costs and a newly vigilant FAA, the rising cost of food and whether to take land out of conservation to grow more grain, the sturm und drang over the Olympic Torch which is about human rights in China not sports, unemployment, inflation, Zimbabwe, I could go on. But somehow candidates only matter when racing like horses. Their actual ideas and analyses are boring.

Sports nation. Unless there is a score to keep, a game on, we don’t care. If there’s no competition, there’s no interest. Here’s what I want you to do to test my notion. Watch the news and tell me how many stories (as a proportion) are structured like a game or contest. Here’s what to look for:

1. Conflict or competition – good guy versus bad guy
2. Someone will win or lose
3. Money is at stake
4. The issue as expressed is fairly simple.

Tell me what you find out. Oh, there are the human interest stories, the heartwarming stuff, but I’ll bet (see we even use the language without realizing it!) most news is really sports.

Well, it's Sunday morning and I gotta run. Thanks for visiting, and don't forget my trees!


Thom More said...

How do you know when we contribute to the "Tree" fund?

WFW said...

The Nature Conservancy keeps a tally, so that every time someone gives, the progress gauge changes. Having given to them on line before, you should get an email receipt after giving.