Louis Michael: Scary stories


I am sick and tired of the news. And I know I’m not the only one. How often have you found yourself turning on the TV, flicking to the news, and being greeted with nothing but one reason after another to lose faith in humanity?

We used to have a small TV in our kitchen. Every evening at dinner we would switch on the TV at 7 o’clock and turn the channel to the Channel 4 news. Then, while we ate our dinner and discussed our lives and argued and laughed and talked over each other, Jon Snow would report how many soldiers had been brutally killed in needless wars, or how a young child full of promise and life was murdered in a senseless act of violence, or how many times a young mother of two was stabbed. It’s cringeworthy to read, isn’t it? So why have we become so desensitised to hearing it? Why are we so used to the news telling us that we live in a horrible world? Is it because we believe it, and we see no reason to disagree anymore?

I remember thinking even as a child how strange it was that the news only ever informed us of sad things. It made no sense to me. The world was scary, but it wasn’t only scary. Therefore why did the news only show the scary parts? It didn’t make sense. It felt as if they wanted to scare us. Because it does more than simply make us depressed. This perpetual stream of negative information makes it seem like the world is worse than it is. If we were to live our lives by the news we’d have to barricade ourselves indoors and say goodbye to ever stepping foot outside again for fear of the crime and danger that seems to lurk round every single corner, waiting for us to become another statistic on the news.

But we know that’s not the case. We leave our houses every day. We smile at people on the bus.

We say thank you to the cashier. We make small talk on the train platform. This world isn’t scary, it’s beautiful. Don’t believe the news.

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