newspapers: the other reality entertainment


Writing Prompt: Newspaper

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


Bird cages lined with yesterday’s murders and celebrity gossip keep no secrets. The fear and triteness won’t swing open cage doors to set free the small bodied beings with wings who don’t care about our words. They remain caged, trapped with sounds humans write on paper about their unsavory behavior and dying world. But they rarely use those words—dying world.

Newspapers aren’t about real news, meaning, the diversity and compendium of human experience across all possible ways of seeing existence. They’re about telling up to the minute stories about localized collective tragedies, and our sanitized collective insanities. Printing in only black and white doesn’t ease the colored stains of the real world. We read now for the reality show effect on paper. Newspapers keep the masses entertained and anxious each morning for the next fix of pain and pettiness. Sometimes, the fix allows us to keep the illusions alive, they keep us believing that we are free. But the paper sits inside a cage or trapped at the bottom of a heap. Irony.

There is really nothing to read but the same old thing. Different name. Different place. Same story and denouement. Sometimes none. Just unraveled threads wrapped in mystery and phantom or real killers, or candidates running for something we can’t put our fingers on. We give it name, but in the end, it behaves nameless.

There is nothing to read. Let the birds have it—our makeshift history. That is how important it is, really, for some. For most. Just a thing meant for waste, then tossed into large black garbage bags that sit on a curb waiting to be taken to a place where history is destroyed, meaningless in the grand scheme of it all. All soon to be buried beneath thousands of years of lifetimes and names no one will ever remember or know.

3 thoughts on “newspapers: the other reality entertainment

  1. Once my friend retired last year I stopped buying and reading the newspaper at least the hard copy version. The New York Times headline stories still get delivered to my cell phone. Still I find myself deleting many of these news flashes because they are so depressing! Ugh! I do read the small Free New York papers, The Metro and amNewYork if somebody leaves them around the locker room. I know most of the stories are nothing but fear factor, propaganda & just plain junk but old habits are hard to lose. As a child my parents and I would all grab for our favorite parts of the Sunday New York Times. Those are fond newspaper reading memories.

    1. When I read the paper many years ago, I’d go straight for the funnies. It was the only part of the paper that wasn’t depressing.

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