We often complain that death and disaster dominates the news. Why is good news rarely in the headlines?
I am working on a book about Byron and am fascinated that, 200 years ago, he had the same complaint. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!
“Mankind have so many blessings in their lives that they never make their Calendars from them, being too common. For instance, you see ‘the great drought’, ‘the Thames frozen over,’ ‘the Seven years war broke out,’ the E. or F. or S. ‘Revolution commenced,’ ‘The Lisbon Earthquake,’ ‘the Lima Earthquake,’ ‘The earthquake of Calabria,’ plague of London, ditto of Constantinople,’ ‘the Sweating Sickness, ‘The yellow fever of Philadelphia,’ etc., etc., etc.; but you don’t see ‘the abundant harvest,’ ‘the fine Summer,’ ‘the long peace,’ ‘the wealthy speculation,’ ‘the wreckless voyage,’recorded so emphatically?
By the way, there has been thirty years war, and a Seventy years war: was there ever a Seventy or a thirty years Peace? Or was there ever even a day’s Universal peace,? And all this, because Nature is niggard or savage? or Mankind ungrateful? Let philosophers decide. I am none.”
From: The Ravenna Journal, 51, by George Gordon Byron, 6th Lord Byron.
Compiled in 1822, Published by The First Edition Club 27 Bedford Square, London 1928.