The thoughts/ideas expressed in this blog are the sole responsibilty of the author. Links to outside resources do not constitute agreement with or endorsement of any of the content of those sites, they are there for reference purposes only.

If you'd like to contact me, email


Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy

Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture

Monday, 4 July 2011

Spare me your outrage

     I tend to say a lot of things people don't like. Generally, the reason they don't like the things I say is due to the fact it's the truth. Everyone professes to want the truth, however, when it's delivered to them on a silver platter, rather than be grateful for getting the gift of truth, usually they get outraged.

     Although that doesn't see to make sense to truth loving people everywhere, it is, alas, also a truth. Those who generally speak the truth will know this is a fact, and only because those receiving the truth only really want the truth if it matches their particular belief (or opinion). Try it for yourself. The next time you happen to see or hear a friend or acquaintance going on about a topic and you can make a truth delivery, feel free, but brace yourself for the reaction. Sometimes it's nasty. Usually it degenerates into something that would leave you mindful of the first grade and one of those "Oh yeah?" "Yeah" scenarios. I get it all the time.

     So, as is my lot in life, I am sure I'll get flamed for this post, but it's true so I'm going to get it out there. I'd ask you to spare me your outrage, however, I know there are plenty of people out there who won't be able to look past the end of their nose on this.

     What sparked me to write today's post was an article in my local newspaper (Moncton, NB, Canada) regarding a dog being found dead, overheated in a car in Burnaby, BC (on the other side of the country a few thousand miles away). Don't get me wrong, I love animals and whoever didn't know better than that deserves whatever the law sees fit. What bothered me is this was even taking up space in my local newspaper. A dead dog, unless he died saving someone's life, is news to the owner and associated family and friends, and perhaps in this case, a matter for legal authorities and an opportunity to educate other slackjaws its a bad idea, but it isn't newsworthy at all. It's part of the reason important news and issues are never discussed. We have to make room for this crap.

     It made me think about how much media time is wasted on issues of minor consequence, just because they evoke some strong emotion. It's easy to get angry about some moron leaving a defenseless animal to suffer and die while they were off tending to things they figured were vitally important, like shopping. How many times are you bombarded by animal shelters that have too many pets and "may have to put some down" or a half page story about the recluse who devoted his life to collecting 396,423 unique matchbooks.

     So here's some truth for you. I'll be happy to acknowledge the validity of crap like that when the media ensures that not only are we aware a dog has been murdered 4 time zones away, but that every 3.6 seconds of every single day there is a child who is starving to death somewhere on the planet. This is not unavoidable. There are children being sold for sex, orphan children who care for entire families, children who live in cardboard boxes or less and forage in dumps for scraps of food. There are literally hundreds of millions of people who live every single day with no access to running water, or even clean water for that matter. They have never seen a doctor, nor will they. Every minute of every day of your life, somewhere on this planet, innocent men, women, and children are "collateral damage" in any one of the many wars being waged at any given time. I don't apologize for believing if people were relentlessly reminded of the problems of the world we'd do something to fix them.

     That's why you're only reminded of these things in passing. You might demand some of the real problems get fixed. That couldn't happen as people make lots of money off the misery of the world. So it's dead dogs and bottlecaps for you, who cares if starvation or current wars or any really serious things become more than a passing issue.

     Most important, get your pet spayed or neutered.



  1. Mostly, I agree with this. The one proviso I would add is that if this is the first known dog death like this this year, then highlighting it is a decent way of waking up some people about caring for their animals.

    That said, yeah the news coverage of anything meaningful generally sucks

  2. I think there's room in the 24 hour media cycle to talk about a helpless dog dying a slow, painful death and the other important issues you have mentioned. One does not preclude the other in good media. The point you seem to miss is that our media CHOOSES to run the dog stories, the look-at-the-shiny government stories, the celebrity stories is because they are easy stories to run. The reason they grab on to one thing and overplay it to the point of ridiculous is because it's easy. It fills the page, the time slot and the budget. No serious investigations needed.

    Our media falls down, not for reporting human interest stories, but failing to incorporate them appropriately with real news, which they increasingly fail to report at all.