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No News Is Good

There are days when the world seems even crazier than usual. Maybe it’s the endless and at times mindless presidential campaign, or blockheads exercising their free speech rights by mocking someone else’s religion, or possibly it’s the sight of brainless mobs rioting to no end, or it could be the sound of police firing at strikers who are armed with sticks, or maybe it’s a young zealot blowing herself up to protest the presence of soldiers who are already leaving. There are days when no news is good.  Our Marilyn Robertson knows days like that.

No News is Good

I’ve given up reading the paper for now.
So much bad news.

But we’re not ostriches
and there’s no sand in this neighborhood.
Words leak through.

Another bomb. Another drone.
Children in the way.
When did ‘another’ stop referring to a day, a helping,
a chance?

Did we fight for equality so that women
could shoulder eighty- pound packs into combat zones,
just like the men?

Newspapers never answer these questions.
Ask about the ball game instead.
Ask about the movie star’s divorce.

Plus there’s a crossword and a word jumble—
games to keep dementia at bay.

Look what we’ve already forgotten.
If you want me, I’ll be in the garden.

—Marilyn Robertson

More Notes

The World Happiness Report, released by the United Nations, ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity. This year, Finland is first, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland, followed by Netherlands, Canada,New Zealand, Sweden, Australia. The United States, which has never been in the top ten, silpped down four places from last year and is now 18th. President Trump may make American Great Again, but apparently not happier.