Good News/Bad News

Posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Even though we’re supposedly on vacation, I can’t resist firing up the computer each morning to check out the web sites of Keloland and the Argus to find out what’s going on in our absence back home; and the news just isn’t very good is it?
Not only are you facing another round of snow and snot-freezing cold..but now the Sioux Falls city budget is falling far short of expectations in part because of snow removal..but mostly because a sales tax put in place for streets hasn’t generated anywhere near the revenue projected.
Makes you wonder how in the bloody blazes another sales tax increase will raise the mega millions needed to build an unnecessary events center doesn’t it?
 
Another headline caught my eye, “Grandma threatens to shoot daughter.”
Good grief!
And I was uncomfortable when two of our grown kids exchanged a few angry words over a card game at Christmas.
The first murder of the New Year has apparently taken place; a 19 year old whose body was found in his car at the fairgrounds.
Oh, and how about this one; “Americans increasingly unhappy in their work.”
It’s bad enough that around ten percent of the population is OUT of work. But, according to some research group that’s been studying such things for 22 years, only 45 percent of Americans like the job they do have. That’s down from 61% in 1987. The deep recession gets part of the blame, because it’s become harder for some people to find challenging and suitable employment.
It makes me realize just how fortunate I was to have had a career that, while it didn’t make me rich, challenged, satisfied and fulfilled.
 
One of the most often asked questions I heard throughout that career was “Why don’t you guys ever report any good news?”
The truth is, we report on good news all the time..whether it’s a bunch of farmers rallying together to bring in the crop of a fallen neighbor or homecoming celebrations for our troops..or a local kid winning a national spelling bee.
But..it’s also true that most news headlines aren’t a very positive reflection of society..just the opposite.
I used to hem and haw for an appropriate answer to the question and finally got one from my old pal, Keloland colleague and fellow Volga-ite, Brian Bjerke.
He said, “I always tell them that news is..by definition.. the reporting of things that are out of the ordinary. If we ever get to the point where good news is so rare that it’s considered extraordinary enough to make headlines..we’re all in trouble.”
 
I do have some good news for those who thought that moustache I was trying to grow looked kinda silly. After 3 weeks, so did I and shaved it off somewhere in New Mexico.
Another personal update; I haven’t eaten any Nutri-System food since our trip to Canada last summer. Any weight lost has since been found and then some..so I’m preparing to get back at it upon our return in February and lose as much as Marie Osmond in time for our next little journey to Alaska in late July.
Now that would be “good news” worth a great big headline.

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