MARTHA SEZ: ‘I turn off the television … and stomp off to the kitchen for a snack’

Like many others who follow the national news, I am becoming increasingly depressed.

More and more often, I hear people say, “I don’t watch the news anymore.”

This is because the national news is so bad. It’s not the fault of the media, so don’t shoot the messenger! Or, wait, let me rephrase that. Don’t blame the messenger. We are all sick and tired of hearing about shooters, I am sure.

Lately, the national news has three main themes: COVID-19, a mysterious and deadly pandemic with no cure or respite in sight; a bitterly contentious presidential campaign, and violence on every side. Looters. Shooters. Bad cops. Racial injustice and outright cruelty. Federal troops called in as local law enforcement. We can only imagine the conversation around the dinner table coming up at Thanksgiving. To these main themes, add the subgroups hurricane season (September is its peak month), wildfires burning in seven states, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Then there are child endangerment, sex trafficking and voter suppression.

Other very upsetting bad news is just champing at the bit to hit the air waves, but there is simply no time to include it. Environmental concerns sometimes are reported. Occasionally they wedge in some animal cruelty tidbits, which really adds to the toxic emotional brew. Stop it! Stop it! I turn off the television–or at least turn down the sound–and stomp off to the kitchen for a snack.

Speaking of the environment, I must say that every time I hear the names of certain politicians I mentally turn off whatever they are saying. This is quite a relief sometimes. Take for example RON JOHNSON OF WISCONSIN, a senator with whom I totally disagree about global climate change, as well as many other, possibly all, subjects. Every time I hear the magic words, Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, however, I am highly diverted and thus impervious to anything he might have to say. His name is so euphonious, so agreeable to the ear!

Recently I read “Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has stated that Greenland got its name from the fact it was in fact once green, and not white with polar ice and snow.”

Never in human history, if at all, has Greenland been green. In fact, scientists say that the Island’s ice sheet is 400,000 to 800,000 years old.

The island probably got its name as part of a Medieval Norwegian marketing ploy formulated by Erik the Red, Leif Erikson’s father. Except in some small areas, veritable slivers, even Vikings were unable to maintain residence there, and its inhabitants before and since have mainly been Inuit people able to withstand the climate.

I would have been extremely irritated by a politician making the claim that Greenland was once green in denial of human influence on global climate change, but not in this instance, because the claim was made by–yes–Ron Johnson from Wisconsin!

Why can’t more people in the news have charming names and titles? A catchy moniker goes a long way toward making a person memorable and even acceptable to the public. Endearing nicknames make the experience of hearing the news more palatable.

Take for example Anthony Scaramucci. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but I for one enjoy enjoy hearing about him, simply because his name intrigues and entertains me. First, there he is in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen.

“Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you dance the fandango?”

I read that Scaramouche was a 16th century clown.

Then there is Scaramucci’s nickname, The Mooch. It just makes him, I don’t know, lovable somehow. I don’t even listen to all of that mess he was supposed to be mixed up in. Who cares? It cheers me up to hear his name. He’s kind of cute.

Donald Trump is on the stump, talking about anarchists, thugs and agitators. Stumpin’ Trump.

Who was that yelling about building the wall the other day? Texas Gov. Greg Abott?

Why no, that was Rex Nexus of West Texas! Great guy.

Who was advocating dog fighting as an Olympic sport? Wasn’t it Vinnie Bota of Minnesota?

No, I believe it was Vinnie “The Mouth” Bota, of South Dakota.

I believe Lou Bork of New York was voted out of office for his views on women’s rights.

He went out and then came in again.

No, now you’re thinking of Micheal Finnigan.

There is definitely something to this. Don’t let the news get you down, and have a good week.