|A cuddly dementor|
I watched the news the other day. Big mistake.
All the soul-sucking ghouls of fiction - the ring wraiths in the Lord of the Rings, the dementors from Harry Potter - sound like cuddly bears in comparison to the real life villains out there.
Why are there so many people intent on blotting out all the happiness in the world? Can't they be miserable, and hate women, and human rights, and music, and dancing and generally squeeze the fun out of everything, one irrational rule at a time, in one SMALL area rather than strive for world domination?
And what exactly are we supposed to do after we watch the news?
Hey everyone! We're going to show you how unbearable life is for half of the population - and then you can carry on with your lovely dinner!
I switched off the TV and noticed that my enthusiasm for life had promptly evaporated and I felt utterly powerless.
Social media addict that I am, I reached out to Twitter for answers:
Do you a) watch the news and feel doom gloom and helpless to change anything or b) not watch, remain ignorant but happier?— Emily Benet (@EmilyBenet) July 2, 2015
Everyone replied 'B'. I suspect the 'A's' were too depressed to tweet because they'd just seen the news.
Even with the telly off, you can't escape the evidence that, to put it lightly, human beings are a plague on the earth. Not light enough? As you can see, I'm really struggling to find my happy voice at the moment...
Yesterday I took a snorkel to my local beach. On the surface it looks like paradise. What I saw under the water, left me feeling sick. There was a cemetery of plastic - bags, spoons, bottles, takeaway containers. I picked up a few pieces but I couldn't bring myself to touch the adult nappy. It was just further proof that we're completely disconnected from the planet we're living in and eventually we're going to poison ourselves to death.
It doesn't really sink in until you see it for yourself. I always think if there was a live video of sweatshops when we went shopping, we wouldn't feel so happy about bargain clothes. But out of sight, out of mind, I guess.
So, how do we writers keep our stories upbeat when the stories around us are so flipping depressing?
I don't know! I'm hoping you lovely readers are going to give me some advice...