Americans are not doing well. Nearly two-thirds are too heavy, underfit and over-medicated. Most are way too dependent on physicians, prescriptions caressa suzzette madden, pundits and preachers. People are too little resistant to baloney and superstition but overly resistant to science, reason, responsibility and the fine art of living well. In short, things are out of whack and somebody has to do something. What’s to be done? By whom?
Well, there is no instant or near-term panacea, no single fix, no sweeping solution for the boundless attitudinal and behavioral problems that brought about the fixes we’re in. But, I do have a few reform ideas — and this essay deals with one of them.
No, I don’t mean NUDE as in naked, ala the bare Russian bimbos reading sports scores and such on slimy Internet shows, acting like Katie Couric or Barbara Walters or someone talented while wearing nothing, an obvious ploy to trap and weak-minded males to tune in. This is exploitative, disgusting and one more example of women taking advantage of naive, innocent guys. However, it’s not at all the nature of my call for NUDE news.
NUDE news would present stories about people, places and things, changes and themes that connect with the reality of Americans not living or aging well. Of course, not all news would fit this connection, but time would be set aside if my idea were implemented for news that relates to people struggling in being too heavy, underfit and over-medicated. It’s a huge crisis — the media should not ignore Americ’s disabling dependencies. The citizenry deserves NUDE news –everyday.
While every news story need not address reforms for an unhealthy population (i. e., REAL wellness skills based upon secular, rational and positive outcome associated facts), I’d certainly like to hear a few such in most broadcasts. It could be called something like, NUDE news now — breaking news you deserve today. Such programming would be refreshing and highly appreciated by the converted, the savants of REAL wellness. The latter would be nice and good for the station’s that want to add viewers, but the most important consequence would derive from the boosts to the health and sanity of the viewing audience.
In his book, The Assault on Reason, former Vice-President Al Gore identified two kinds of pollution — that of our planet and of our politics and culture. A new York Times reviewer called Mr. Gore’s two-part focus, an obsession with the toxicity of the atmosphere and the toxicity of the public sphere. Well, I think Mr. Gore and others should also focus upon (or obsess about) the pollution and toxicity of worseness lifestyles, that is, the fact that Americans are too heavy, underfit and over-medicated.
REAL wellness values are not the norm, as most will readily acknowledge. The reality is that daily news reporting is geared to bad news, problems, not inspirational wellness solutions. A NUDE perspective would modify that situation – such newscasts would include reflections on how things might be, from a healthier, saner point of view.
Of course, some shows are exceptional, offering unique versions of NUDE news. Saturday Night Live, The Rachel Maddow Show and Stephen Colbert, for instance. These shows provide daily wellness perspectives. All serve up invaluable wellness qualities — they are veritable gold mines of doubt, skepticism, reason, ethical insights and, of course, humor. Imagine how desirable it would be if such wellness perspectives were represented in network news programming. B esides the educational value, more folks would become better informed, more skeptical and wiser about the world around them and what they might do for themselves and others to become healthier and happierThe phenomena of “fake news” may have captured the imagination of Americans during the 2016 Presidential Campaign and the later investigation of Russia’s attempts to swing the election to Donald Trump using fake news on Facebook among other schemes.
The truth is that fake or phoney news has been around as a tool for a while and by many to spread propaganda and conspiracy theories for many years prior to the 2016 election. Websites including InfoWars and Brietbart among others have been spreading fake news that supports their agendasIf you are feeling overwhelmed just by reading that, it’s obvious what the actual content of all this news is doing to our nervous systems. Physical arousal and stress are triggered by our nervous system’s response to announcements and news that goes straight back to our primal need to survive and not necessarily because there is an actual and present threat to our safety.
We are inundated with announcements and information that are neither relevant nor an immediate threat to us individually. In doing its job well, the nervous system innocently attends to irrelevant messages, believing all news must be relevant and require urgent attention. In fact, reacting to information regarding a five-car pile-up on an icy motorway on the other side of the world has no immediate survival benefit to us.
While broader lessons can be learnt from the general information, this information can be used and conveyed in more considered and less dramatic ways to improve our society and keep us safe. The way in which this information is conveyed in the news is much more likely to trigger unnecessary and involuntary stress responses.