Know Any Literary Animal Lovers?

Hi there PureJeevan readers! We wanted to let you know that Jim's new novel CHROO is available on Amazon. It's a crazy adventure involving a billionaire heiress, her Chihuahua BFF ("Chroo") and a host of human and animal characters. Find out more on Amazon! Here are some links:

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As this is a holistic web site, it's important that we take time every so often to feature pieces on other aspects of human health besides diet. So, today's subject is unrelated to raw foods, but is directly related to your health. (Don't worry: We'll get back to raw foods on Monday!)

Today I want to share a super-valuable lesson I learned when I was just 21 years old. Back then, Wendi worked within the advertising department of a large newspaper. She helped me meet the paper's photography editor who, in turn, approved an internship for me during my senior year of college. So, several days per week for one semester, I hung out with professional newspaper photographers. It was a lot of fun -- and with real darkrooms, too (as this was way before the age of digital cameras).

In no time, I noticed a pattern emerging. How is it, do you suppose, that newspapers and television newscasts find much of their news Have you ever asked yourself that question?

Well, sure, there are definitely "beat reporters" out there monitoring sporting events, gathering weather reports, and attending social functions. But, what struck me most were the always-on police band scanners. Now, if you've ever heard a police or fire department radio, you know that you'd never hear something like, "Dispatch, this is officer Friendly, and I want to report how delighted I am to see a group of people planting fruit trees in a vacant lot!"

No, it's quite the opposite. In fact, it's all of the worst things anyone can imagine, all concentrated into a single range of frequencies. Constantly, these scanners would be on in the background and, any time anything particularly awful happened -- whether it was a fire, a robbery, or almost anything else that would require a police officer's presence -- we would dispatch a team to cover it. Most of what is awful in the world tends to become public record via this one system.

News production, I learned, is essentially over-dramatizing all of the worst things in the world in order to instill as much fear as possible into the viewer. We would never run a photo of, say, a house fire unless it showed raging flames. The more the better, I was told. It's all marketing, really. More drama equals more viewers equals higher ratings equals more advertising dollars.

Overall, the news system is highly similar to the public sewer system. Media outlets collect and concentrate all of the miscellaneous foul deeds perpetrated in an area, filter and treat the worst of it with a healthy dose of theatrics, panic, and fear, and then dump it into the virtual river (aka the public airwaves) for consumers to "drink" (meaning watch, read, or listen to).

You don't need this to survive. It's the cooked food of the airwaves, so to speak, and basically facilitates an acidic environment within your system. Now, if you're mired in the fear, you may be protesting that you want to stay informed, etc. Well, let me follow that up with another quirky story:

A few years ago, Wendi and I witnessed a highly suspicious scene in which a man ran across the street just in front of our car, dropped a huge knife, picked it back up, jumped into an SUV, and sped away. It was so suspicious that we actually jotted down the licence plate number, just in case. (We were at an art studio at the time, and told some people there about it, too.)

When we returned later to the studio, there was a news team and a bunch of police officers there. One detective had heard that we took down a licence plate number, and wanted to speak with us. So, we gave it to him, asking what had happened. He said it was basically a drug deal gone bad, adding that pretty much 99% of the time you hear about such crimes, it's not just random violence. There's always a back story, and it's quite often criminal interaction between ... wait for it ... criminals! In other words, if you're not a criminal, you probably don't actually have very much to worry about.

That wasn't the public story, though. Since we were "involved," we tuned into the news that evening. The report hyped the exact opposite of what had happened! Instead of a basic criminal-on-crminal story, the piece purposely tried to instill fear in area residents by questioning the safety of the neighborhood.

Newscasts, in my opinion, distort our perception of the ratio of "positive" to "negative" (for lack of better terms) in the world. They essentially perpetuate fear, offering you little positive to balance it off with. (The weather report and the sports scores aren't the kinds of positives I'm referring to; they're actually just "neutral" facts.) So, while we may well cover fasting here on Pure Jeevan at some point, let's start with news fasts. See how a 10, 20, or 30-day news fast feels!? We're on a couple-decade long one at the moment, and happily report that it feels wonderful! :-)

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On November 6, 2009, jprostko wrote:

I agree. The news isn't really all that worth watching, and I haven't watched it in years probably. I suppose it makes for semi-awkward conversations sometimes when I find out I don't know something "big" that happened, but oh well. It's always something bad anyways, like you said.

I believe I remember reading somewhere about how a "good news" channel was tried in the past, but that it failed. I think the reasoning was stated that it's because good news isn't filled with drama and heartache and all the rest, and that therefore it wasn't interesting to most. I do think there's a lot of people that feed on negative energy like that, but then there are those of us that realize we don't want or need it at all. I'm thinking at least part of the real reason "good news" programming failed is because the good people are already out in the world making great things happen, not spending time watching TV to see what everybody else is doing. I suppose the non-existence of a "good events" scanner also makes it harder to find good news to share. ;) Thoughts?

On November 6, 2009, TerriDactyl wrote:

Yes, like cooked food, I only watch the news if I'm at someone else's house. As far as being informed, I get my news from facebook or others will talk about things. If I really want to know more, I google it. In the Law of Attraction world I live in, I call that contrast. This allows me to be informed, yet really focus on the divine opposite, which is what I want.

Did that make sense

Anyway, I take my negative news and flip it in order to decide what I want to focus on. H1N1 is killing people, . . . Raw food is saving people. See

Peace and Love all,


On November 6, 2009, Joanna_Steven wrote:

I never watch the news. I kind of did about 3 years ago during the recent Lebanon-Israel war, and I couldn't stop crying (I could actually understand what the Lebanese people were saying, like "everyone's dead" and all that- plus my family was there). Whether I watch the news or not, it's not going to change what's happening. Instead I try to prevent bad things from happening at my level, and I try to promote politicians I like, like Dennis Kucinich. But news-wise... I have no clue what happens and I don't want to know.

On November 6, 2009, anniemillett wrote:

We don't watch any TV at all, in fact, don't have TV service, which we'd have to pay for to get anything in, here in the boonies where we live. I love not having TV! We do however, have Internet, so if we want to know what's going on, we can get it there, but usually avoid that as well, for all the reason's previously stated. Because of that, we aren't subjected to commercials either, which I also love. My kids (youngest 2 are 18 and 20) missed it at first, but they have their computers, and got used to it. We do watch DVD's, but we get to choose what we watch, and I love that!

On November 6, 2009, Errigal_lass wrote:

I basically stopped watching the news when my two children were born (30 years ago........oh, my, am I that old ), but have on occasion tuned in to discover to my horror at what I was missing. And that I gladly do on a daily basis. Most of my friends who know me well will sometimes email me if there is something that they think I need to know. As a matter of fact, I did not know about 911 until 5pm that day and was told by my friend in Ireland as we chatted on Yahoo Messenger.

I have had friends in the past tell me that I need to be informed about what is going on in the world.........I usually reply "why should I want to know, I live in a beautiful world (except for the struggles of the outside world in regards to my disabled brother's care)". It has been difficult for me over the past 7 years in that regard, and I do not wish to add to it.

Living the Living/Raw food lifestyle and all the beautiful people that I have met over the past four years is where I wish to continue to be. They are the ones that help keep me balanced and in tune to life, not the death that we have come from. I can only see good in all that all of us are doing, and can see this spreading love and joy throughout eternity.......and more and more people joining on this path.

On November 7, 2009, pwyll wrote:

At work, i found i could listen for ten minutes and hear all the news without watching TV--since i did not have one. I could be informed and not brainwashed or inundated. That was 30 years ago---nothing has changed. Even Dr. Weil advocates leaving the paper and the tv and radio alone because of the ill effects.
Of course good ol' John Prine had us blow up our tv and eat lotsa peaches...amen.

On November 10, 2009, Lady_Lavendar wrote:

We don't own a TV, and any news snippets we pick up we usually hear from friends after the fact. We get some odd looks because we are "out of the loop", but we are more relaxed and less stressed out then our friends, too, and I think it's due to our not watching or hearing the general medial blitz that most people subject themselves to every day.

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Whatever it is in life, if it's important enough, it'll find its way to the old word-of-mouth phenomenon. Nine times out of ten, even those things are bad. If I had a dollar for every, "Jim, did you hear about [insert crime of the day]," I'd be wealthy. My coworkers probably think I'm bonkers for not tuning into Fox News 24/7 like they do. But I honestly don't want to hear it 99.9% of the time. This is really yet another super-great reason to pursue an "outside the box" lifestyle -- getting away from people who exist to immerse themselves in fear and bad news.

Part of me wonders whether this is a more American phenomenon, comapritively speaking. I really don't know. But, you know how our most popular shows are things like CSI and ER and all of those dramatic types of things? I wonder if that holds true in other countries? While I don't watch much TV, I've always been drawn to British sitcoms in particular. Why is it that I can think of a half-dozen British sitcoms off the top of my head, but not a single violent / stylized crime drama (and, no, Miss Marple does not count!)?

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

That makes great sense, Terri! Thanks for that great tip of flipping bad news and focusing on the good! :-)

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

I didn't realize you were Lebanese. Wow... you know, Lebanese was some our first exposure to really good international food (and much healthier than a lot of the junk we were eating back then). Back in the days when we first got into international and Indian foods, we couldn't get Indian very often. But there was a great Lebanese shop in our town, and we became really friendly with the owner. I think we ate there like 5-6 times/week! And then when we moved to DC, there was probably one of the best Lebanese places I've ever visited -- the Lebanese Taverna. Anyway, aside from the food names, I do know one word in Lebanese. However, I can't repeat it here. The guy who owned that restaurant told me that it's the absolute *worst* word in the whole language. (lol)

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Yeah, that's what we do, too -- just Internet and DVDs. I do love watching movies. To put it in a fitting metaphor, I view TV as junk food / SAD food. Movies are raw food. :-)

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Well said! :-) The world can be a wonderful place or a horrific one. It just depends on what you want to focus on, what you want to believe. I agree that most raw foodies are remarkably tuned into the positive aspects of life!

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

You mean the country singer? I really don't know a lot about him. But, blowing up TVs and eating peaches sounds like a hell of a good time to me! Where do I sign up? :-)

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

Yep... that and, as a vegan, you're not physically taking part in ingesting or perpetrating the addictive world of fear (of which the media is one huge part). (Plus, Lavender is a notoriously relaxing herb, so you're probably naturally relaxed and stress-free... Is that true ??!)

On November 10, 2009, Joanna_Steven wrote:

Yea, my mom's Lebanese, my dad's of Armenian descent (his grandparents moved to Lebanon during the genocide), and I was born and raised in France with about 8 years spent in Lebanon.
And yes, Lebanese food is yummy. I do indulge in hummus (cooked) but load the plate up with salad, veggies, sprouts and last time I made raw cumin flat bread to dip in. Mmm..

On November 10, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

I'm sure you've tasted / made the varous raw hummus recipes, right? We have one in our eBook called "Tahini Genie Spread" -- a zucchini / tahini one. Very tasty!

On November 10, 2009, Joanna_Steven wrote:

Yea but my husband can't wrap his mind around chickpea-less hummus ;) I tolerate hummus well, as long as it's not every day, so it's not a big deal to me.

On November 10, 2009, Lady_Lavendar wrote:

well, I am trying to cultivate calmness and less stress, but am not quite there yet! Lavender is one of my all time favourites, though, hence my using it as my nick, though!

On November 13, 2009, Trav wrote:

At least the MSM has some commercial interest in listening to police scanners. I have more than a few relatives who listen to police scanners for the entertainment value in an attempt to get the jump on the lastest gossip and misfortune of their alleged neighbours. I gave up watching TV six years ago and don't miss it one bit (the exception will be the upcoming 2010 World Cup, Gooooooal!).