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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Crawling Back Into My Hole, Sort Of

I have a nice comfortable life, I am the first to admit that.

I have decided that I can no longer listen to the news about all the horrors that were going on in New Orleans. I just can't do it. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. It makes me feel helpless. It makes me want wrap my children up and protect them.

Last night I was sitting on the couch holding my baby son in my arms. Rob was switching around watching news, baseball games, and random bits of movies. Such is the joy of watching television with someone who probably has ADD.

My son was cranky and burning up with a 102 degree fever. This is the first time he has ever been sick. I was nursing him and he was looking into my eyes. Every now and then he would let out a tiny moan, as if to remind me that he wasn't feeling well. I rubbed his sweaty little head knowing that the Tylenol I gave him would soon make him feel better.

My daughter was sitting next to me curled up with her fingers in her mouth and her blanket in her hand. I heard music on the television and looked up to see images of horror set to music. A macabre music video.

I hate that.

Do I need to be manipulated by music to tell me how I should feel? Aren't the images enough? I turned her head away and stroked her hair. I wanted to shield her from the images. I wanted to tell her that it was pretend, that things like this don't really happen.

The song News* by Jack Johnson popped into my head.

How grateful I am to have this luxury. While other mothers are worrying about how they will feed and clothe their children, I get to worry about how much bubble wrap I can seal my children in before they suffocate. It's not fair.


A billion people died on the news tonight
But not so many cried at the terrible sight
Well mama said
It's just make believe
You can't believe everything you see
So baby close your eyes to the lullabies
On the news tonight

Who's the one to decide that it would be alright
To put the music behind the news tonight
Well mama said
You can't believe everything you hear
The diagetic world is so unclear
So baby close your ears
On the news tonight

On the news tonight
The unobtrusive tones on the news tonight

And mama said Mmm

Why don't the newscasters cry when they read about people who die
At least they could be decent enough to put just a tear in their eyes

Mama said
It's just make believe
You cant believe everything you see
So baby close your eyes to the lullabies
On the news tonight


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1:13 PM  
Blogger blackbird said...

I watch a european news channel -- there is no idiot anchor person, just a voiceover, which somehow, is better. And then, every half hour or so, there is a segment called "no comment" during which, for example, raw uncut footage of what is going on in New Orleans is shown with no commentary whatsoever. I find this form of newscast very powerful and not manipulative.

We, who can soothe our children with tylenol and treats are indeed fortunate.

3:42 PM  
Blogger J said...

Here's where I come out of the closet and say that I haven't seen a single photo, haven't seen a single newscast (we don't have television), haven't heard a single radio report. I only know what I've read on personal journals like yours. I don't feel the need to seek out anything more. Hearing the anguish in my friends' "voices" is more than enough.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

As I'm writing this comment the tv in my bedroom glows above my head stuck on a news channel it hasn't been off of all week except to go to a different news channel.

I'm trying to get away from it for a little while. We watch a movie. I read blogs that aren't stuck on the same channel I am on.

Normalcy. It's hard to find when this is all you feel compelled to talk about.

4:41 PM  
Blogger lipstickface said...

I was equally horrified by the "montage video" last night.
What the hell?

somehow it was romancing the misery.
Somehow it was like "look at all these cool images we got"
it was like the paparazzi.
it hit me all wrong.

Im sick of the news. Ive been trying not to watch it during the day, only watching after the sun goes down. But honestly, today, its all im watching. I feel like im abandoning my people if I sotp watching. Those are my neighbors.
I dont understand so much.
im heart sick.
im stomach sick.
My stepmother got out right after hte levee broke. her friends have been calling with similar stories of how they escaped in no time. I dont understand what held the trucks from resucing the people with supplies. im sick. i cant stop watching. i dont want to watch but I cant stop. thats my home. I dont want to look any more, but I dont want to think about anything else. I dont know what to do.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it's not just now and this. It's any type of montage. I don't need the music to tell me it's devistating. I can tell that by looking.

But I do love Jack Johnson. That song is so perfect for that thought

9:06 PM  
Anonymous epiphany said...

Sometimes, I find that when I have no words, the only way to express my horror, or my saddness...or even my respect, is to put together the images that speak loudest to me, then take a song that speaks the words my mind cannot seem to fit together. I post them only because they better represent whatever is going on inside me, than my own voice does at times.

Granted I doubt that is why the media does it...but I know it is my reasoning. :)

10:57 PM  
Blogger molly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:02 PM  
Blogger molly said...

GREAT POST! As much as I love music, I hate being manipulated by music and having my emotions dictated by someone else's use of it. Does that make sense? I can feel just by looking. Sometimes, when a musical montage is really effecting me, even if its just a silly movie, I mute the TV and can almost instantly recover. Like being pulled out of a to feel what I want to feel/think.
I've enjoyed reading your posts lately. Glad I found your site.
We're big Jack Johnson fans in this house!

3:03 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

My mom sent me an incredibly sensationalistic powerpoint presentation (if you're saying, "huh?" you'd be agreeing with me) with slides of the destruction set to music. She got it as a forward and was apparently sending it on because she found it so touching. I couldn't even write back with my upset over it. And I'm not watching the news right now mostly for the same reasons.

9:23 AM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

I am starting to feel the same way. There comes a point when you can't watch anymore because you have done all you can do. It is terrible. I hope little Miles is feeling better, and give all the cuties extra hugs and kisses.

The words to that song are chilling. I've never heard it before, but I may have to look it up now.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

I remember how a few days after September 11, the local radio stations had already put together a version of Don Henley's "New York Minute" with audio spliced in of reporters saying things like, "We've just received word that a plane has crashed into the side of the World Trade Center."

Who on earth was this for? Who in their right mind would want to hear something like that?

1:15 PM  

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