Thursday, March 17, 2011

meeting, chorus, news


Posted by PicasaMeeting of the newly formed Union of Mannequins (UM) in  a department store window.

One of my earliest childhood memories is  waking to the sound of the dawn chorus in the wood outside my bedroom window. We lived in Forest Row, about 20 miles from here as the crow flies. Today there are fewer trees outside my present window and my hearing is not what it was. The birds seem less noisy and are doubtless fewer. Often I am asleep when the birds, sensing the sunrise before anyone else, burst into song. But this morning, blackbirds in particular are in full song. It must be half past five. Or perhaps 1938.

I am half way through Tony Judt's excellent Postwar, a history of Europe from 1945 to the present day. The more history I read the less time  I have to read newspapers. When, I ask myself, does news become history?  This book ends with the present day. More or less. The news comes via the radio, tv, and the internet as well as newspapers, but I can't help feeling that the headlong flow of events improves with time and containment. Or at least you could say it becomes easier to bear.

3 comments:

CC said...

First on the UM agenda...uniforms.... or something to wear?

marja-leena said...

Oh yes, I'd sort of forgotten that you came from Forest Row! Did I ever tell you our daughter's family moved to a village near there? They love the area.

Today, our local newspaper had several "human interest" stories about several Japanese and foreign individuals and families and their struggles and losses. Most heartbreaking for me was reading about a classroom of children that were never picked up by their parents when the tsunami struck at the very time they usually get them. The teacher is looking after them in the school, trying to find food and water and warm bedding. This has hit much harder than anything I've read in online news. In time the pain and memories do fade a bit, don't they?

Barrett Bonden said...

One of the infuriating aspects of instant news coverage is that it usually stops when the content starts changing from bad to good. Months later, often by accident, we discover that the person whose life was despaired of is now settled into idyllic, non-newsworthy retirement, that the sportsman facing career-terminating injury has become head of a charity, and that a politician involved in a scandal and forced to admit to that cynical desire to spend more time with his family is doing just that. News is not a neutral stream of fact, it is always bad news. Certainly the intention of TV news-readers - purveyors of information at its simplest, almost childish level - is to have you lurch for the drinks cabinet at the end of the broadcast.