Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 1, 2010 / 24 Kislev, 5771

It's Getting Better All The Time

By Malcolm Fleschner


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the criticisms we in the news media frequently hear is that we only report on bad news, and always play up the negative side of stories we cover.

Unfortunately, this "If it bleeds, it leads" approach contributes to the public's generally pessimistic worldview. Reading the news, people understandably conclude that everything's getting worse, whether it's the environment, the economy, our schools, the declining quality of drunken catfights on Jersey Shore - the list goes on.

Well, for one column at least, I'm going to break with this time-honored media practice, accentuate the positive, and explore the ways society is improving. And here I'm not talking about advances in technology like the Internet and how today we all have virtually unlimited, immediate access to a volume and variety of pornography that our Founding Fathers could have only dreamed about (Ben Franklin in particular, I'm guessing).

No, I mean improvements in human behavior, in the ways we treat one another and function in the world around us. Admittedly, it's not like we've solved all of humanity's problems - war is still rampant, ethnic conflict rages all over the globe, terrorism is a constant threat, etc., but on the upside, have you noticed that people nowadays almost always clean up after their dogs?

This is one significant change I've seen in my lifetime. I lived in New York City during the 1970s, and I remember the whole city as awash in dog poop - in the parks, in every alley, even on the infield grass at Yankee Stadium. Sometimes the sheer volume of dog poop on the Manhattan sidewalks got so bad that - I swear this is true - you didn't even notice the stinking heaps of rotting garbage. Which were also covered in dog poop.

Today it's a different story. Practically every dog walker these days carries a little plastic baggie, which they considerately use to "pick up" after little Fido (or at least go to the trouble of pretending to do so, in case anyone's watching). At some point in the past 30 years, we collectively concluded that stepping in dog poop was something we didn't enjoy, and through a combination of new laws and social pressure, we began enforcing a new code of behavior. Now, as a result, our sidewalks are less hazardous, our carpets are cleaner and you see far fewer pedestrians stop abruptly, look down and say, "What the...? Oh, that's great, just great," and then have to waste valuable time looking around for a quality scraping stick.

Littering is another good example. When I was a kid, tossing your empty soda can or cigarette pack on the ground wasn't something people gave a second thought to. There's a representative scene of this in an episode of the TV show Mad Men, in which an early 1960s family goes to the park for a picnic. Afterwards the mother shakes out the picnic blanket and walks away, leaving behind a scattering of plates, cups and other garbage. Modern viewers, raised to view littering as borderline sociopathic behavior, were shocked and raced to the Internet message boards by the thousands to register their horror. The casual sexism, racism, homophobia, alcoholism, adultery and child abuse depicted virtually every week on Mad Men? Whatever. But littering? Oh, the humanity!

And not only are Americans keeping the ground cleaner, we're keeping our lungs cleaner too. Not that long ago, cigarette smokers were everywhere: in offices, restaurants, airplanes, hospital operating rooms, the Apollo 11 moon landing - you name it, people were lighting up. But today, thanks to vigorous anti-smoking campaigns, smokers have been hunted to the point that those few who remain are forced to either huddle for protection in small groups outside buildings or sneak off to smoke alone behind dumpsters, in a car or under the desk in the Oval Office.

So there may be hope after all. For if we can learn to be considerate enough not to fill the air with noxious cigarette smoke, to use proper trash receptacles and to pick up after our dogs, perhaps we can even solve some of the other, seemingly intractable challenges facing humanity. Of course, even then, in the media we'd probably still cover the good news with downer headlines like, "Defense Industry Stocks Plummet on News of World Peace Declaration."

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:


08/24/10: Turn Down The Stereo(types)
06/24/10: The No Roamin' Holiday
06/08/10: Parenting On A Cellular Level
05/27/10: Older? Yes. Wiser? Not Necessarily
04/19/10: The Bossman Cometh
03/25/10: The Rules of Interaction
01/09/10: A ride of passage
12/26/09: The Family Power Struggle Goes On…
10/26/09: Rapidly approaching fuddyduddy-hood
06/20/09: Waging a backyard turf war
02/20/09: The Sties Have It
04/30/09: Planning of the Apes
04/08/09: No more phoning it in
02/26/09: Tuning in to the English Channel
02/19/09: 25 AND COUNTING
02/13/09: A new life, dead ahead
01/29/09: NOW STARRING ... EVERYBODY!
01/15/09: You know the type
01/08/09: Just in time, here comes 2009
11/20/08: Hotels go for the green
11/06/08: Something does not compute
10/30/08: Early adopters tech their chances
10/21/08: Cyberspace invaders
10/21/08: Keeping up disappearances
09/17/08: Victims of math hysteria
08/07/08: My newfound sense of self (promotion)
06/24/08: Getting the brand back together
05/29/08: Phrased and confused
05/13/08: Take this job and love it
04/17/08: News you can (re)use
04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles