Avoiding Bad News (and other things bad)


In the past couple of days there has been a fair bit of news coverage about a baby who had been left in a drain and abandoned. I’ve tried staying away from this. It has been too depressing lately. I was saying to Tress I’d rather watch cooking, sports and nature programs than news on television these days. I said to her the stories on that baby – while there are positive elements – are just the sort to confirm I’m on the right path. I know it can be clichéd to say media has too much bad news but looking at the abandoned babies, problems in Ferguson, bombings etc in middle east, election fiascos in Victoria (responsible and performing government on track to lose), and a whole range of other negative news, tells me it is more than mere cliche. It is a lot of bad news out there which get reported and it’s bad for consumers of such news.

In the gym each morning, I no longer plug my headphones into the news channels. If there are no sporting events or good cooking shows on, it’d be the music on my phone – Les Miserable has been getting a good run.

So the wedding dinner on Sat was something nice to attend as it is a sort of an antidote which was refreshing. JM and V are old friends from our hometown and their daughter got married. We only went to the dinner (at the Manningham Centre in Doncaster) however. I wasn’t keen on a wedding that was held in a chapel in Scotch College, for no apparent reason other than perhaps the aesthetics or optics of such a location. Also, going to that wedding would have meant having half the day on Saturday ruled out for anything.

So to make better use of the day, Tress and I took a drive up King Lake country. We stopped at a small town called St Andrews, and walked amongst the teeming crowds through a street market. It was a hippie town and smells of funny cigarettes wafted through. No surprise therefore to find the town pub open at 11am – which I promptly responded by having a very nice ale. We then continued driving towards King Lake which was largely national park country. We stopped by a reserve, chatted a little bit with a ham radio enthusiast who had all sorts of cables hoisted up around a big tree before driving home again. Back in Blackburn we did our grocery shopping and then went home to walk the little fellow.

At the dinner, we were at a table with Ronald, Cat and their two boys, who have both grown into very decent adults. Also with us were Li Lin and Kok Eng, Alex and someone else whom we didn’t know. Alex was by himself presumably because Li Har had to be with their boys.

We caught up with many old Klang friends, almost all of whom used to be at the Klang church. The only ones I totally ignored and refused to have any interaction with were David Chiang and his wife. Tress later tried to chastise me over it but I said nothing has changed as far as what David had done was concerned. Any attempt to exercise social niceties would have been in the face of those events which so badly affected many, and for which I still hold David and his colleagues responsible.

We got home late, I woke early the next morning to watch the United v Arsenal game (which we won 1-2) before heading to church later that morning. The rest of Sunday was pretty normal – lunch at Madam K, back home to do gardening (mowing, cleaning etc) and cooking (more soups) before settling down for a busy week at work. I had a long meeting scheduled with KPMG on Monday morning, which ostensibly was going to be unpleasant and which I had been charged with protecting our people. So I went to bed relatively early…getting ready to face a world full of negativity.

I’m sort of kicking myself for not reversing some of that but my hands are quick to go up in acceptance of my weakness and folly.

I continue to give in to my thoughts about how some behaviour should be responded by wilful ignoring. Like I would avoid bad news in the media, I’d avoid any interaction with bad behaviour which persisted.

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