Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Funday: Alternatives And Miracles

While we've written, drawn, and discussed positive news events over the last few months, we're willing to admit an ugly truth to you today. Like most people involved in the media - especially those of us in the political media - the last few months have been some of the most brutal, unceasing periods of constant information juggling we've experienced in many years. Because of this, we're aware that some of our recent Friday editions have seemed a bit more serious, and a bit less playful.

It's an easy habit to fall into. You look at the world and see all the horrible things going on, and you quickly find yourself becoming a real-life embodiment of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Thankfully, our Editor-in-Chief, Paul Fell has a generally positive outlook, and he's not usually one to mope about. So when he asked us for today's edition to consider the alternative of how things would be if President Obama hadn't been re-elected, we found ourselves thinking about things in a very different way.

For one thing, it reminded us that within less than two years, we won't have to worry about not having health insurance in America any more. That reminded us of a friend of one of our staffers, a radio DJ named Sparky, who recently beat bone marrow cancer, and returned to work at his radio station, 104.1 The Blaze, in our hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska.

That reminded us of The Blaze's annual event to help children who might not be as lucky, the annual Kampout For Kids in Lincoln - which is today. If you're looking to help, you can get the details on the event here, or feel free to donate here.

Thinking about helping needy kids led us to talk about a story we saw in Slate, about a friend of a friend, and her Down Syndrome child, Eurydice - who it turns out has been far more of a blessing then her mother ever expected.

We're well aware there is plenty to focus upon, both in the United States and around the world, where things we've thought were turning positive have twisted and gone in a bad direction once again.

For example, the entire internet went dark in Syria yesterday, including telephone communications - a very bad event in that war-torn nation. The nation of Burma, where President Obama just visited to help praise that nation's positive moves toward democracy had riot police beat up monks and villagers who were peacefully protesting on Thursday. Egypt's Constitution did pass out of its Assembly yesterday - except with newly inserted language that could push its recent secular history in a more theocratic direction. Of course, the debate over the 'fiscal cliff' continues to be more heated all the time.

For every dark story we saw though, we began to notice a corresponding bright spot, after Paul's request to see the alternatives.

For example, President Obama and Mitt Romney had lunch on Thursday, and from all reports it was a surprisingly pleasant meeting. After years of wrangling, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recognize the state of Palestine and move it one step closer to full membership - a position that will likely force both Palestinians and Israelis to deal with each other more as equals. It may even lead to the 'two-state solution' that so many have talked about for years. There was even progress on U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan more rapidly, after Senator Jeff Merkley's amendment calling for early withdrawal passed with strong bipartisan support, in a 62-33 vote.

Closer to home, the Husker volleyball team swept its way to the second round of the NCAA tourney, and the Husker football team plays for the Big 10 Championship tomorrow.

The world still isn't perfect - and we don't expect it to be.

We've just considered the alternatives, as Paul suggested, and realized that everything isn't as serious or dark or as bad as it could be.

Call it the 'Ghost of Christmas Future' if you'd like.

We're calling it Friday.

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