Monday, March 22, 2010

The Medium is the Message

“So, what can you tell me about what’s happening in the world?”

Lately, every week or two I’ve been visiting 96-year-old Mrs. Z. in the long-term care facility. When I drop in she has to ask who I am because she can’t see me—she is rather blind, although I have never heard her admit this. Usually the light is bad.

Her question about the situation in the world is always accompanied with a smile.

Sometimes she also asks if she actually phoned me to come. She doesn’t phone me at all anymore.

Mrs. Z. likes world news, political news, possibly local news or sometimes even my family news. She appreciated hearing about the Olympics, the prorogation of parliament, the possibility of an upcoming provincial election, and the war in Afghanistan.

When I’m with her, I realize exactly how little attention I pay to precise details.

When are the PanAm Games scheduled?

What month are the G7 leaders meeting?

Is that G7 or G8?

What’s the name of the guy who warned the Canadian government about the danger of handing over Afghan detainees?

What caused the economy in Greece to go belly-up?

Who are the red shirts and why do they want an election in Thailand?

Sometimes I’m tempted to make up the details, but that would be lying. When I’m in my nineties—or any age—I don’t want people lying to me.

I’ll just have to follow the news more carefully.

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