Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Radio theatre, news channels and newsfeeds

Having completed the purchase of Christmas cards and stamps, and printing copies of our annual round robin letter last week, I finally summoned the energy to finish the job with several hours of assembly production line labour. It was made more onerous than usual by having envelopes of an anomalous size and shape, which required the letter be folded four times in order to fit instead of the usual two. It takes that little extra time to do four tidy folds, so the job took longer than usual. Note to self: check envelope sizes against letter page size next year!

After lunch I drove to Newport for my osteo appointment with Kay. It did me a world of good, and taught me a thing or to about how a minor knee injury had also given me hip joint problems as well. Niggling pains I've had lately in my pelvis and hip joint have been related to stress caused down in the knee joint by collisions with furniture. I'm walking more normally now, and the knee joint inflammation is subsiding. I need to be careful for a few days, a little more mindful long term of how I walk, and strive to be less clumsy moving about in enclosed spaces! I'm still trying to change habits of a lifetime.

The weather was miserably wet for the drive there and back, and traffic heavy. This deterred me from doing any shopping or social visits on the way home, and I was just lucky enough to get one of the last available parking spaces in the street at five o'clock. Demand for spaces is far greater than supply for much of the time, and this is noticeable particularly in poor weather, for reasons I don't understand.

I spent the evening listening to several different audio dramas on Radio Four iPlayer. In one way it's less demanding than watching TV or iPlayer video, which I often do these days, as much if not more than watching live TV. Radio drama requires careful listening and stimulates the imagination, and that demands a different kind of attentiveness, which I find enjoyable and quite relaxing. Entire evenings can pass by without there being anything worth watching on TV, not even the news, if I've heard it a few times during the day. 

Often morning news is a reprise of thing learned from Twitter posts the night before. There may be added interviews and comment, but these tend to pad out content more often than they add content. So called 24 hour news channels repeat large batches of content around the clock, but on-line news feeds stream fresh content, adding comment to existing content in a way that evolves as a story evolves in real time. How news delivery has changed with the evolution of digital media! And we've changed with it. The world has changed too, but not necessarily for the better, when the farewell messages of besieged Aleppo residents are broadcast on social media, and then on news channels, as they await extermination in the final onslaught to secure Syrian military control of that doomed city. And the wider world seems helpless to intervene and bring an end to this brutal show of force. These events, and their broadcast to the world will return to haunt us all in times to come.

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