April 06, 2007

In the News

When I was growing up, my father watched the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkheit religiously. My sister and I never really understood the appeal. And if we were feeling really mischievous, we would call old Walter "Mr. Sickness," since sickness, in German, is pronounced "KRAHNK - hite." I don't think my father was amused.

Now, as an adult, I have a better sense of what drove my father's devotion. I see myself as a member of a broader community – multiple communities, actually – and I want to see how the things I care about are faring in a wider context.

But I still don't pay the kind of daily attention that my father did, perhaps because in so many areas the news is, for me, a cause for anger, frustration, worry, or mourning.

I DO get overwhelmed. I bounce around from trying to keep up with the latest on global warming, to trying to figure out how I'm going to explain to my son that his country doesn't consider his parents married, to wondering why we put up with a healthcare system that leaves millions of Americans scrabbling for any safety net at all.

And all the while, I yearn for prophets and leaders who will call us to live up to our very best selves. While at the same time the lyrics to a song I sang for many years ring in my ears:

We are the ones we've been waiting for.

10 comments:

Susan Abraham said...

And all the while, I yearn for prophets and leaders who will call us to live up to our very best selves..

(What a truly wonderous line this is, Shelley.)
It looks like the news is all about passion and emotion with you. A real thinking post, this. :-)

Beaman said...

I have to admit, I look upon the American health care system with opened mouth. For such a rich country surely they can provide free healthcare.
Nice write too, I enjoyed reading.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

growing up i thought of Cronkheit as the grandfather I would always want to have. I miss the days when journalists had freedom of expression.

Bohemian Mom said...

This is great.
I too, remember my parents had to be in front of the TV for the evening news, like there was no tomorrow.
I think the media we have now, Satellite, CNN live coverage, the internet, etc. would blow my father's mind.
"What do you mean, you can see the news 24 hours a day?"

And cheers to Canada and our socialized medicine!!!

Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, Shelley- what a very thoughtful post indeed...
I loved the last line as well.

rubyslippers said...

those song lyrics ring true and gave me goose bumps! very thoughtful post--i find myself very much in the same boat...

colleen said...

I am still shocked that I grew up an news activist. I never would have thought back in the Kronkite days that I would have. As a girl it all seem oh so boring.

The irony seems to be that the worst it gets the more we should be paying attention but the harder it is to, because where do you begin?

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

My first visit to your blog won't be my last. I grew up, too, in a culture where parents sat down every night to watch the news (it was Huntley-Brinkley in our house). And they watched the 11:00 p.m. news, too. Things are different now. The world is more complicated, there are more choices. Hopefully, one of the changes will be the legal legitimization of your union and you won't have to have that talk with your son. Many of us are working toward that day, so have hope.

Patois said...

I'm with you in your yearning for prophets and leaders. I just hope they're recognizable when they arrive. I fear they'll be pre-packaged.

Jennifer said...

I long for the days Walter was doing the news, it was real news without bias, or propaganda. The news is depressing now adays and it's difficult to discern between real news and entertainment.