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THE LARGER

BY JOSEPH BACK

Goodbye to moon shots

There was a nice waxing crescent in the sky last Friday, but you won’t see it in the news. Such things, are not styled “noteworthy,” larger effects aside.

Now news is a many-splendored thing, which so far as I have been able to ascertain from an amateur columnist standpoint consists mainly of two chief components: 1) information 2) saleability Barring state subsidies that support a family, the lack of either of these two (information or saleability) dooms to irrelevance a good many things which might otherwise be covered. And if you stick with me, that’s a shame—but also reality.

Bashar al-Assad might or might not be oppressing Syria’s Alawite community, but the Kardashians (originally from the country of Armenia) are on.

Guess what and/or who’s covered.

A lot can be said of what is or isn’t newsworthy, but it seems to me that what’s most likely to get covered nowadays, isn’t also such. In a world of free (meaning “near penniless”) news agencies in many quarters, the thing that gets clicks and likes will get covered, whether or not it’s particularly important from a standpoint of either geopolitics or human survival Sometimes—as in next month’s lunar eclipse, that’s the force that moves ocean tides, but usually not, and don’t get me started on religion.

Ever wonder why religious stories don’t seem to make a lot of headway while gloom, doom and tragedy do? It’s our lot as a species it seems, to be pulled by what the late Henri Nouwen called the temptations to be powerful, spectacular, and relevant. I realized this reading ‘The Count of Monte Cristo,’ which despite the name (I.e. “Mount Christ”) is actually a revenge story, about how the wrongfully imprisoned Edmund Dantes escapes from the Chateau d’IF to get back at those who got him, all those years back.

But maybe it’s time to switch gears, as getting philosophical is also frowned upon in the 24/7 CNN age. All I know, is that ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ in English, was a lot more riveting than ‘Les Miserables” in same—the books, not the movies. Before bedhead me (see above) I had time to read, not just write.

In the end the Moon may or may not be all that relevant from a daily standpoint. That it carries Earth’s shadow, reflects the Sun, stabilizes the planetary orbit and otherwise helps make life possible, is just too hum drum to make the news.

So who’s to blame for this phenomenon? That’s where the story usually points next. Who or what can I look down on for the count, to know or show that I am superior, in knowledge, ability, or otherwise.

This is not adult, in my opinion. Part of growing up is realizing that, in fact, the world is not split so easily into us vs. them, but that sometimes the “them,” is “us.”

In full disclosure snd as caution, this is a melancholic statement. Sometimes the best place to look though, may just be in the mirror. Self-reflection and knoweldge is far rarer, and thus ‘noteworthy.’

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