Good News in the World (By David Byrne)
The Scottish musician took up the task of collecting good news from around the world to remind us that all’s not wrong.
The news of the world are depressing. It’s enough to read or listen to the news to feel disconsolate and worried about the future. It’s as such in social or political terms, as it is with the situation of the planet. The world seems to be collapsing, or at least that’s what the media allow us to see every day.
Recently, David Byrne, the musician and artist best known for having been the lead singer of the Talking Heads, took up the task of collecting just good news. He has it written up in little articles, and he launched a website dedicated to promoting them. Reasons to Be Cheerful reminds us that not everything in the world is wrong and that, though there’s lots of work to be done, wonderful things still happen every day.
“I imagine, like a lot of you who look back over the past year, it often seems as if the world is going straight to Hell. I wake up in the morning, I look at the paper, and I say to myself, ‘Oh no.’ Often I’m depressed for half the day.”
Thus Byrne wrote in his presentation of the hopeful project. And it’s true. Reading the news is the perfect way to grieve over everything we’ve done to the world.
But as it’s often said (not unreasonably), the good news is not always on the front page. It’s not divulged by the press because, for some reason, it’s the bad news that draws the most attention. In Byrne’s collection of writings, the selected news includes, often, local and community efforts. Their example reminds us not only that the world is not irremediably collapsing, but also that the people, their imagination, and their desire to be better, are in fact precisely what can save the world.
Some of the sections of Reasons to Be Cheerful include “Civic Engagement,” “Health,” “Urban/Transportation” and “Culture,” among others. The news describes initiatives and efforts whose existence is deeply hopeful, and even therapeutic. They remind us that, despite the devastating news that plagues the world, new endeavors are launched every day and bright things happen. There are always reasons to be happy when we have our eyes open to see them.
Below is a talk David Byrne recently gave on his project, Reasons to Be Cheerful.
7 Recommendations for Organizing Your Library
For the true bibliophile, few things are more important than finding a book from within your library.
Red tea, the best antioxidant beverage on earth
Red tea is considered to be the most unusual of teas because it implies a consistently different preparation process. ––It is believed that its finding came upon surprisingly when traditional green
A brief and fascinating tour of the world's sands
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour. - William Blake What are we standing on? The ground beneath our feet
Strengthen your memory with rosemary oil
For thousands of years rosemary oil has been traditionally admired and used due to its many properties. In the Roman culture, for example, it was used for several purposes, among them cleansing, as
Literature as a Tool to Build Realities
Alain de Botton argues that great writers are like lenses through which we can see an infinite array of possibilities.
Mandelbrot and Fractals: Different Ways of Perceiving Space
Mathematics has always placed a greater emphasis on algebra, a “purer” version of itself, one that is more rational at least. Perhaps like in philosophy, the use of a large number knotted concepts in
Luis Buñuel’s Perfect Dry Martini
The drums of Calanda accompanied Luis Buñuel throughout his life. In his invaluable memoirs, published under the Buñuel-esque title, My Last Sigh, an entire chapter is dedicated to describing a
A Brief Manual of Skepticism, Courtesy of Carl Sagan
Whether or not you’re dedicated to science, these tips to identify fallacies apply to any form of rigorous thinking.
How to Evolve from Sadness
Rainer Maria Rilke explored the possible transformations that sadness can trigger in human beings.
Alan Watts, A Discreet And Charming Philosopher Of The Spirit
British thinker Alan Watts was one of the most accessible and entertaining Western interpreters of Oriental philosophy there have been.