Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to share her thoughts about how it’s more important now than ever to be aware of the news.
The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.
My sister recently got rid of her TV and cancelled her newspaper subscription. It’s her drastic reaction to all the bad news bombarding us. She doesn’t want to know about madmen using malls and Walmart as shooting galleries. How many U.S. soldiers were killed in the Middle East this week? She keeps the war at arm’s length. The reemergence of measles, West Nile and Ebola, climate change, the Amazon burning, it’s all just more bad news.
And it’s not just my sister pulling away from the media. I’ve had many friends tell me “I stopped watching the news.” I think it’s a strategy to keep hopelessness at bay. “It can’t happen to me, it can’t happen here” is a mantra proven wrong every day. Ignoring the fact that this is the world we currently live in is a fantasy to fight fear.
There have been many times in my life where I haven’t had access to TV or newspapers. When I left home and lived in a crappy studio apartment in Los Angeles, I couldn’t afford either. When I joined the Navy, newspapers weren’t delivered to the barracks. Stationed in Puerto Rico there were no newspapers or English-speaking radio and TV. We didn’t find out that Nixon stepped down until sailors brought us news from the states. We have a new president? Good to know who’s your Commander-in-Chief.
I didn’t have TV or newspapers during college (even as a journalism major!). I started to watch local news while working for the sheriff’s department because we were often in the news. Fun to see co-workers at crime scenes and drug busts. Even after retiring I only subscribed to the Sunday paper, basically for the comics and the TV section. I watched world news but made a point of not watching on the weekend.
Until Sandy Hook happened. I’d missed the story completely. When messages started popping up on Face Book, I realized something major had happened. That’s the last time I skipped watching the nightly news. While some of my friends want to bury their heads in the sand, I want to stick my head up like a prairie dog and know what’s happening around me. Better to be informed and prepared than be oblivious. What you don’t know can hurt you.