Good news glow: because I’m acid for certain stories in these dim times


There’s a abuse for that everybody blames a Chinese, yet that is apocryphal: “May we live in engaging times.” It’s always wryly invoked when a news goes mad, yet we upheld that indicate prolonged ago. We now live in dark, depressing, God-awful times – so dour that many have incited divided from a news (if usually reporters had that option). War, famine, a arise of a distant right, Trump, antisemitism, Brexit, Brett Kavanaugh, Jair Bolsonaro, austerity, injustice … each day we are declare to a march of awfulness. Studies explain news can make we depressed. Tell me something we don’t know.

No consternation that, mired in gloom, we seize on glimmers of light – a good news stories. The story of how Leamington Spa welcomed several families of Syrian refugees has kept me divided from a margin given February. (My husband, who is from Leamington Spa, claims that tailoring your news feed towards internal news creates for a most reduction pathetic experience. Alas, when we attempted this we was greeted with an contentment of drownings.) More recently, we was cheered by a news that a UN has pronounced that a ozone covering is finally recovering after years of aerosol damage. The probability that a ozone covering competence be entirely remade by 2060 is something we can all feel certain about, yet it leaves Australians in wish of review topics. Climate change warnings have turn so meaningful in new years that certain news constitutes a solid in a dung. Here’s another: humpback whales are doing fine.

The Irish termination referendum result, too, cheered those of us who have mourned a new miss of on-going changes. we also find myself seeking condolence in archeological and systematic discoveries. The story of Saga Vanecek, who pulled a 1,500-year-old pre-Viking sword from a lake in Sweden, kept me going final month. All we need now is for her to be done a legitimate black of Sweden. This month, news that a new dinosaur class has been detected in Argentina has me smiling. It is unfit to be unhappy when meditative about dinosaurs. Another story, closer to home, is that of a Tesco store manager in Bradford who invited Jay Burke, aged 10, who has Down’s syndrome, to have a go on a checkout. “Shopping with a child with special needs can be unequivocally difficult,” his father told a newspaper. “Seeing people recognize that and assistance we out only takes a vigour off a ideas that others are judging we as a parent.”

Positive stories have turn so renouned that many news outlets now have good-news sections. we find myself resorting to these increasingly. We need these tales of tellurian swell and affability to infer that a universe and a inhabitants can still be good, even wondrous. There seems to be a recoil opposite certain thinking, and when we are in a inlet of basin we extend that entreaties to “look on a splendid side” can be maddening. Equally, a cognitive behavioural therapy technique of countering, that involves contradicting a disastrous suspicion with hostile evidence, can, with practice, turn an involuntary reflex. So while Pope Francis competence explain that “the Earth, a home, is commencement to demeanour some-more and some-more like an measureless raise of filth”, we could equally say: “Well, that competence be, yet in Ramsbottom, nearby Bury, a lady called Mary Bell only distinguished her 100th birthday by drifting a craft over her caring home.”

The heat from that should, we hope, get me by a winter.

The National Trust is on to something with these paper bags

Forgive my ostensible an indignant feminist for a impulse – even if that is what we am – yet many bad news stories have something in common: a impasse of absolute men. There’s Bolsonaro, Trump and Kavanaugh, of course, yet also David Cameron, a male obliged for a Brexit shambles, who has such a clarity of desert that he now, out of boredom, says he utterly fancies being unfamiliar secretary.

Which is because we am unwell to get het adult about a National Trust, that got in difficulty this week for covering adult paintings and sculptures of group during a noble home in Northumberland as partial of a jubilee of a purpose of women.

Busted? Cragside in Northumberland. Photograph: Lusky/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The photographs of busts of group with bags over their heads done me laugh. It wasn’t pointed and they looked ridiculous, of course, yet because not have a bit of fun with history?

“To cover adult portraits of group so they would not provoke ladies was only ridiculous. Statues had white bags over them. People were baffled,” wrote one caller to Cragside, blank a indicate somewhat, and compounding my entertainment as we illusory a scenes.

It’s not that a participation of these memorials to absolute group is offensive, it’s some-more that they are everywhere: covering them adult serves to prominence only how minimal womanlike illustration is in a arts, as in other areas.

This is because we would adore to see this intrigue extended to group in politics and a media. How most Arts Council appropriation could we net with a offer that a supposed gentlemen of Westminster enclose paper head-bags? Could we get one over Piers Morgan? This could be a start of a series – and I’m all for it.


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