Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good News Only

The news media is in crisis. Newspapers are closing right and left. It’s the Internet’s fault, they tell us. People don’t want to pay for the news.

But if I want to be simultaneously depressed and terrified, I don’t have to buy a subscription to the New York Times. Now that I'm a mother, all I really have to do is get naked and stand in front of a full-length mirror. I can do that for free.

So I listen to the radio while cooking dinner. This is intended to be a relaxing ritual, something that takes my mind off the endless loads of baby laundry and the fact that Ten Little Ladybugs will be indelibly tattooed to my brain, forever.

But the news just makes me edgy. The nasty headlines keep on coming: Millions of jobs lost. Thousands of home foreclosures. The ongoing health care crisis. Wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Little Mexican babies with swine flu, threatening to breathe on our children. And now, I’m told, Riverside County is no longer buying four-ply toilet paper for its office workers.

It’s enough to make you want to sail to Fiji.

In Fiji, they only publish good news. This is because the military dictatorship arrests journalists who publish bad news, can hold them for up to seven days without charging them, and generally makes their lives extremely difficult.

"We have been threatened, bullied and intimidated. Our cars have been smashed, our homes firebombed," says Natani Rika, editor of the Fiji Times.

But at least he’s cheerful. So what if democratic elections have been postponed until 2014, the Fijian constitution has been repealed, the police get to use lethal force and the whole country’s under martial law?

In Fiji, they get to read about glowing puppies. They get to read human interest stories about nice mommies and turtle conservation. Why, just last week, military spokesman Neumi Leweni spoke glowingly of martial law censorship: "The people of Fiji are now experiencing a remarkable change from what used to be highly negative and sensationalised news to a more positive, balanced and responsible reporting by the media.”

All this, and clear blue water. Pristine, white sand beaches. Deliciously intoxicating kava beverages.

And nothing but good news, on and on, forever.


  1. Ha! Sereia rides again as do the Murphys. Things are once again as they should be. Who knows - maybe Dick Cheney will shoot himself? Could life be that good? As for me, I'm back in the States. Been here 24 hours and am almost ready to head back to Kwajalein. I think you'll love Fiji. I have cruising friends who do - more on that later. Great to hear & read you again. Helm's alee!!!

  2. As an armchair cruiser in NYC, I'm stoked you're going to be making way once again, allowing me to live vicariously thru you!! Safe travels - know you're helping those of us tied to the dock.

  3. You guys are back! Fantastic. Now I have something to dream about again. Silas is getting big.

    Andy in Minneapolis