Yan's Corner - In Touch

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Any Happy Stories?

On Sunday night while I was packing for an overnight trip to Kuala Lumpur, Chris reminded me that I have to bring some surgical mask,

“Bird Flu in Kuala Lumpur. You are staying in the hotel just opposite Twin Towers. Twin Towers is within the area monitored for Bird Flu. Remember to put on the mask if you go there.”

I thought, wearing a mask?

Later, I found out that Chris stuffed some masks into my luggage with a gentle reminder,

Don’t forget the mask. Beware, Bird Flu!

I could not imagine myself as the Masked Woman walking around in KLCC. So, I decided that I would not walk out of the hotel so that I did not have to wear the mask, so that I did not have to tell a lie.

True enough, Chris called on Monday night and asked,

Did you use the mask? Have you caught the bird flu?

No bird flu, but craving for roasted chicken or Terayaki Chicken, I teased him.

We put on mask for different reasons – but the common factor is FEAR.

But, we really do have legitimate reasons to be fearful. The things we fear are fearsome indeed. And it seems that the media brings more fearful news than happy news. I would not have felt it that way (probably I am immune to such news) if the children have not been reading newspapers together with me in the morning. Each morning when we awake, the newspapers greets us with all the unhappy stories.

Oh, mum, another child dies of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease in Sibu Hospital. There are 20 cases in these five days and two children in critical condition.

Oh, dear, petrol price up by 30 sen. Mum, you should have pumped the petrol to full tank on Sunday.

The mummy threw the baby out of the window when her house was on fire. Poor baby.

We won’t have a chance to sit in an airbus from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching because MAS has decided to cut Frankfurt flights to Kuching!

Those are the “lamentations” of the children over the past two mornings.

No happy stories? It seems there is none.

I have a 79-year-old friend who wrote me a mail in response to the delightful stories I related to him in the course of my work. It reads,

I have enjoyed the happy stories. Your work in the press is obviously quite exciting. I know absolutely nothing about how your press operates in Sarawak. Our (U.S.) press, however, is well known to be overwhelmingly liberal and what appears in print or on television clearly reflects that view. This does not sit well with me as a long time ago I was trained to recognize biased and slanted reporting. These days I simply overlook it, as I know newspaper reporting is directed at selling newspapers while TV reporting is directed at ratings. Then, considering that somewhere between nine and eleven years old is thought to be the intellectual age of the average American, getting away with it is not difficult. Would that be an old curmudgeon speaking?

Any more happy stories?

In another mail, also relating to newspaper, he writes,

You must be forgetting that everyone has some kind of an agenda or a bias and are doing their job as they see it. This is particularly applicable to those in the media. Luckily, I don’t have to read, listen to, or watch any of it, or if I do, believe any of it.

A quote from Niebuhr says it better,

“God give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

Are we short of heartwarming stories? Happy stories? This is the question I put forward to the journalists this morning.

5 comment(s):

Hi, Yan,

The air is gloomingly dense,
a melancholy pervades our sense,
what has become of our world ?
each day a new ill is unfurled.
Death, strife and disease unfold,
humans and animals getting cold.
Bombs boom and kill each day,
good names of religion they betray.

Paying a higher costs is more pain,
when goods come from your domain;
but pay you must,
and pay like an eastern duke,
lest the western ruler puke,
even though things look unjust.
Flushed with more cash,
the problem is where to stash ?



Here is a link to a website, in Mandarin, where a poor chick sings about the bird flu;
hope you enjoy it.
http://www.hkbirdflu.com/sadchick.htm

By Blogger Joepsc, at 6:43 pm  

Hi, Joe

Thanks for the poem.

The poor bird is too busy singing, I can't log on. Will try again.

Yan

By Blogger Yan, at 9:41 pm  

Yup I agree that all too often our papers are full of doom and gloom. Try www.happynews.com! :)

By Blogger dobbs, at 10:41 am  

Hi Yan
Seem to have trouble in your site.
Your picture disappears and then get the Microsoft message and have to close.

Anyone else have this problem?
Your son is so thoughtful and caring!

Take care.

By Blogger H J Angus, at 9:43 pm  

Hi, h j angus

I do not seem to have the problem on my computer or laptop for my site you described.

All children are naturally full of compassions. The difference is some parents pick them up and "blog" about it. He, he..

Keep well.

Yan

By Blogger Yan, at 9:06 am  

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