Is our world a sad place?

September 8th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Reading news on many days is like reading books by Shakespeare, Edith Wharton and William Faulkner where I hear people dying and/or living in depressing lives. Oil spills on the Gulf, people dying in Afghanistan, and Iranian women being whipped to death are all examples of news that depict sadness and depressing dramas. Is our world a truly sad place? Not really. The sad events only occur in different little spots of the world. I remember when I took History of Photography in college, I asked my professor why we only see depressing and sad news rather than happy news? For instance, when the news talk about Israel, why do they only talk about war happening in small areas of the country rather than about the beautiful life where people are living to the fullest and are happy, which I encountered on my travels there? It seems as if when we read the news, journalists are looking through a tube and are not telling us the full picture. My professor explained to me that news media is all about making money. So, in order for them to make money, they have to choose stories that will convince people to pick up the newspapers and read the stories. The general population may find depressing stories more entertaining than joyful stories, which is very sad.

I came across a video clip that depicts how people would react if New York Times only displayed good news. A group of people produced fake New York Times displaying only good news in order to examine people’s reactions.

1 Comment


September 9, 2010 at 9:09 am

Dear Rachel,

Have you considered that the happinness and peace enjoyed by most Israelis remains structurally contingent on the violent occupation and forceful dispossession of the Palestinian people? A more salient and thoughtful analysis might posit that the ‘small areas’ of violence reflects the successful containment of successive Palestinian popular uprisings against an illegal Israel occupier, whose occupation is, par excellence, one of a settler colony that employs collective punishment. That those areas are contained is based on apartheid walls, military free-fire zones and flying checkpoints.

The more we talk about this, instead of wanting to bury, apologise or dismiss it as you implicitly suggest, the sooner Israel will stop being synonymous with a site of violent colonial occupation.


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