Wanted: Good News And Happiness
by Mayor Kelly McDowell
I've spent a good part of the morning hunting for good news. Browsed two daily newspapers, the Internet and even glanced at television--a rarity for me--only to come up pretty much empty-handed. Given all that's going on, that wasn't much of a surprise.
The best news of the day so far is that the Federal Reserve Chairman suggests that Congress defibrillate the economy a second time with even more money that it doesn't have. If $700 billion won't do the trick, what is the magic number? Whatever it is, it's going to take a long time to pay back.
On the Web, a Google search under "good news" returns a slew of sites, as one would expect. Many of them are religious in nature, also no surprise. OK, a couple look like earnest efforts to put forth uplifting stuff, like goodnewsdaily.com, but none of it looked much like news. ("Govt. to hand out free bike helmets to universities" reads the headline for one piece out of Malaysia, by example.)
And the goodnewsnetwork.org, for example, turned out to be a paid subscription site, which didn't strike me as either particularly good or newsworthy. It gets worse. Google's listing for goodnewsbroadcast.com strongly warns that "over the past 90 days [through October 17], 8 pages resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent." That isn't good news at all and promises bad news in spades if you visit.
A site called thehappyguy.com seems to be mostly about selling books that offer to make you happy. Royalties must make the author happy, at least. A message from the site's proprietor closes with "may you live all the days of your life." Well, happy or not, you can pretty much count on that little truism.
Finally, happiness.com, which you'd think would be filled with heart-warming vignettes about happy people leading happy lives, keeps its focus on selling Happiness magazine, sadly.
I guess the message from my Internet sampling is that selling your book is the true road to nirvana. Unfortunately, first you have to write it. Writing books, I know from my father, is not uniformly a happy experience.
The Internet is not devoid of good feeling, though. Try http://templeoffreshandeasy.blogspot.com. This blog is a monument to the new Fresh & Easy stores that are popping up in Southern California and elsewhere in the west. Its author, Oakley Boren, takes pains to point out that she maintains her blog without any compensation from the stores, their owner, Tesco (headquartered in our city) or otherwise. She does it for fun.
To take your mind off your problems I suggest a good book. I'm reading Ken Follett's World Without End right now (from New American Library; 1,010 pages), his sequel to Pillars of the Earth. They are both set in medieval England, are easy and lively reading, available in paperback and they are both quite long. Enjoy!
Fun is right. Fun is a huge part of me. Other people may have their inner children. I have an inner adult who steps up to do all of the responsible stuff and steps away when it's done.
This blog was born out of that outer child wanting to talk about products and stores that she likes so much that the inner adult has to get to the computer.
It's not supposed to be taken seriously, this blog. Obviously, neither Sister Amy or myself are gourmet chefs or professional food critics. We are not journalists in traditional sense. (Sister Amy's a writer by profession but I just, well, write.) We are far from knowing anything about the grocery business outside of "They have stuff. We go there. We buy stuff."
We are just happy talking about stuff we like. That is all. And that is fun.