I try to keep up with as many national and international headlines as I can, partly because I’m curious and partly because I think it behooves me in my profession to stay up to date. The Internet makes it simple to look at dozens of headlines, from different sources, in a few minutes. News is often shocking, but certain headlines take me off guard and suck me in. For example, today I stumbled upon: “Wild Turkeys Invade Massachusetts Cities, Towns.” There is no good response to this.
At times I find it disturbing how easy it is to glance at a headline like, “Three Killed in McDonald’s Shooting Spree,” and simply think, “Hmmm.” Then I move on. I’m not cold-hearted, but over time you form a standoffish relationship with many of the depressing headlines, approaching them delicately and often resisting them all together. It would only be disheartening to read every one. You pick your battles and eventually you find yourself enamored with turkey invasions or life-saving parrots. If nothing else, they’re necessary distractions from the hard-hitting headlines.
So often we are attracted to the bizarre, simply because it is bizarre. We don’t leave the story with a renewed sense of enlightenment. We can’t pinpoint any apparent moral. Sometimes we just want to check out some weird stuff, and I think that’s a good thing. I’d rather read about turkeys and parrots than Britney and Paris. Or how about this older lady in Germany who has accumulated quite the fortune over the years by stealing from churches?
Serious news must be taken seriously. I understand this. I say, read the harsh news and think about it, or avoid it and don’t think about it all – approach it any way you want. But if you choose to peruse headlines, it can be refreshing to check out some of the stranger ones. Almost every news site has one or two, but some like Reuters’ Oddly Enough have larger selections. So if you’re sitting bored at home or have a five-minute “break” at work, check out some of these headlines and remind yourself that your life isn’t as weird as you might think it is.
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