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Letters to the editor, May 17, 2018 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition.

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Just don't look

I would like to declare a Metro-wide, Canada-wide, news fast. A news fast is a conscious decision to ignore all news—on TV, in print, radio, internet, human conversation, etcetera. Many people would find a complete news blackout hard, almost an impossible task, but I have done it, so I can assure you all that it IS possible. If you find this difficult, start small and increase as you get used to it: A morning fast, a day fast, a week, month and so on. Make sure every time you do one that it is longer.

As a woke media consumer who reads The Coast, you're probably wondering why a news fast is needed at all. OK, let's do a quick audit of the current delivery of news. No matter the medium, "the news" as a package begins with something awful. The pattern is easiest to see in a television newscast. Right off the top, we're watching a school shooting, terrorist acts, natural disasters, severe weather, extreme politics. Note that most often these news items are relating the exploits of the latest egotistical idiot who has done some evil act to get attention.

There are a multitude of reasons why traditional news outlets lead with these stories, reasons that are not important, especially during a fast. After this depressing fare, there there tends to be an uplifting story at the end of a broadcast. It is commonly referred to the "human interest" story. This more-happy portion of the news, a cat rescued from tree for example, accounts for a small percentage of the entire newscast, maybe three to six percent.

Now I'll propose a solution to the current news delivery. To all the media moguls out there, take notes.

From here on the schedule will be reversed. The news leads with a mandatory 20 minutes of joyful news, or JN. After the JN stories, assuming there is still some time left, there will be up to five minutes of the latest horrible acts, horrible weather and horrible politicians. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Trump.) The percentage switches. Good news leads, and there is so much good news that I hope people get so sickened by it, that they can't watch it anymore and have to leave before the bad news comes on. Imagine a world where you get disgusted by the news for an entirely different reason—because it's making your teeth hurt.

I just have to stress that evil, egotistical idiots, trying to get attention for their madness, need an audience. We are the audience. If the world didn't report on these maniacs, it wouldn't encourage others to commit similar acts. If the community torn apart by evil acts was afforded privacy, it would be allowed to mourn, instead of becoming a worldwide news story and fuel for other evil actors. Ego is the reason for all the evil in the world, and if mad men/women weren't given any attention, it wouldn't be as bad as it is.

As in the cartoon The Simpsons, when the trademarks of companies became 50-foot monsters running amok in Springfield, the refrain that saved the town—"Just don't look, just don't look"—made the attention-craving trademarks drop. That is the rallying cry for my proposed news fast. Just don't look, just don't look.

Yes, I am aware that it is ironic to use the media to decry the media, so don't stop reading The Coast—just burn the news section. LOL. So please try the fast, I know it's hard. Thank you.Quin B., Halifax

Sage advice

I love last week's "Smudge for sale" Opinionated article, where author Rebecca Thomas says her "goal is not to shame people for the misuse of medicines, but rather invite them to rethink their intentions. Whether or not they choose to believe it, selling medicines and ceremony intends profit off of another person's pain." I wonder...we have an abundance of sage on our property. Is it appropriate or welcome to gift some of the plants to Indigenous communities?posted at thecoast.ca by Krista E

You can't patent your culture. As much as I hate to admit it, Christianity seems to be a big part of European culture and tradition. Look at all the money made from its two sticks and a cool storybook. At least with smudging, you only have to pay when it's needed. With blessing, well, you gotta pay every week, and tip your minister for weddings, christenings and funerals.. Rebecca Thomas acts like her culture is above capitalism. It's not. posted by Furious Poprah

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