The News According to Fear, Anger, Sex and Hope

This is the news according to Facebook, according to Twitter, according to CNN, according to fair-and-balanced Fox: Hillary pulls ahead by a nose; Trump is a hairpiece away from the presidency; Bernie is being Bernie, and the people love Bernie ("hip-hip BERN-IE!"); the black box was found; the boy is alive though the gorilla is dead; the starlet has a new sex tape (click, click, click and watch her work); the temperature and the terror alert are on the rise; the hurricane is coming; stocks are more volatile than the San Andreas; employment is more fickle than manna; the robots are here; we're going to Mars; we're shooting past Pluto; we are our only limitation--other than Trump, who is a hairpiece away from the presidency. Some call the media a spin cycle, a constant tumbling of news (that is not news), which keeps us off kilter. I call it a mint, watch as they throw the machine into high gear, as they fuel the machine with fear, anger, sex, hope, shades of love, colors of greed. Out comes the money. ([tweetherder]What does it profit a man to report on the whole world and lose his gold?[/tweetherder])

"Tune in tonight for more fear."

"After this commercial break, more sex."

"Buy this box of hope."

"Tonight's angry political commentary brought to you by the good people at Sugar Soy American Porn Corp., Inc."

The stories roll. The emotions roll. The dollars roll. The saints look up from their pine boxes--they roll, too. "The soul was not made to withstand this sort of manipulation," they think; then, "Lord have mercy."

The things I believe about the nature of men are simple: we were made to fear only saber-toothed tigers and the rustling of leaves in the dark; we were imbued with anger to bring gift of reformation; our eyes were meant to see only as far as the horizon, our legs made to walk a few miles at a time; sex was meant for the love our life; love was meant for the wife, the children, the community; hope was given so that we might create; hunger was purposed to push us as far as the next meal.

The things I believe about the nature of the soul are likewise simple: it is tiny, child-like, eternal; it stronger than the body, but so often led by it; it can master or be mastered by anger, fear, hunger, hope and sex. Can I prove this? No. But stop and reflect. You know this is true; don't you?

The line between master and mastered is quite thin--this is the news according to Facebook, according to Twitter, according to CNN, according to fair-and-balanced Fox.


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Screaming Opinion Babies

The Poetry of the News Cycle

Celebrity scandal. Terror event. The Christian famous trip on sin. Three day lull. Anchors scramble. Trains, plains, or automobile event. Tabloid sex. Black folks murdered. Watch a house of worship burn. Civil rights protests. High court rulings. Watch the social media churn. 

Celebrity scandal. Terror event. Maybe this time we'll break the mold. Black folks murdered. Civil rights protests. Watch a house of worship burn.

Salty Opinion Loops

We are stuck in a perpetual loop, an endless cycle of news. It's a pregnant news cycle, one that gives birth to screaming opinion after screaming opinion after screaming opinion, and all these opinion babies come crying into our social media feeds.

As a person of faith, do you feel the tension? We're called to be salt and light, yes? And [tweetherder text="What is saltier than an opinion? Only an Arkansas pork butt."]what's saltier than an opinion? Nothing but an Arkansas pork butt, I'd say.[/tweetherder]

Opine. Opine. Opine. This is how you know you're alive.

Here's the tricky bit, though. Sometimes its best to hold your tongue.

Remember Your Grandmother?

My grandmother passed last week. She was a kind soul who lived a good life. She was prone to occasional fits of gossip as humans  are, but for the most part she kept her dinner-table opinions kindly folded in her lap. It was, perhaps, her crowning quality.

I don't remember her exact words, but when I bandied opinions about, she'd often ask me whether my words were kind or helpful. It was the old if-you-can't-say-anything-nice bit, sure. But [tweetherder text="There is a reason we respected our grandmothers."]there is a reason so many of us respected our grandmothers.[/tweetherder] They lived the lost art of kindness.

The Endless Debate Place

There is a season for everything, for debate, for argument, for strident support or opposition. There are places for these things, too. Dinner tables. Coffee shops. Town hall meetings. These days, though, the entire world has become both time and place for debate, argument, and strident support or opposition. And in many of these forums where context is often lacking, there is often a conspicuous lack of one virtue--kindness.

On Tuesday, I jotted this little Facebook post. It seems to have resonated with more than a few people.