A friend of mine is considering starting a newspaper. Although it’s still in the development stage, I think it’s a wonderful response to the problem that many of us face in being overwhelmed with so much disturbing news. I also see it as an antidote to the ‘fake news’ that has been so troublesome recently. My friend sent the idea to me in an email and also gave me permission to mention it here.
First, some background on the founder: she is a long-time student of Arny Mindell’s Process Work and also has studied and practiced in the Sufi tradition for many years. She is also resolutely anti-hierarchical—a great believer in the power and authority of each human being. Because of this, she is a reluctant teacher and down-to-earth thinker.
Although she didn’t mention it, the newspaper would directly support the religion she has considered founding: ‘Wowism.’ In Wowism there is only one teaching: ‘Wow!’ This exclamation is the universal practice. When things go well, we appreciate them by saying ‘Wow!’ And when things fall apart, we appreciate that as well by saying ‘Wow!’ (I’m not certain about the exclamation point as the religion has no written texts, but it seems appropriate given the spirit of this considered religion.)
I can’t go on without mentioning another dear friend who has also stumbled upon the roots of this same religion. He wrote a Buddhist children’s song about it in which he presciently notes that dogs go ‘Bow-wow-wow’ but in Buddhism we go ‘Wow. Wow. Bow.’ And this takes me to a family worship service one summer when my little sister must have been five or six. One Sunday morning on vacation, my father was trying to get us to be worshipful and it wasn’t going well. Out of the blue, my little sister proclaimed ‘God is dog spelled backwards.’ We all laughed and things were about to get out of hand, when my father, to his everlasting credit, concluded the theological repartee with: ‘And dog is man’s best friend.’
But back to the newspaper that does not yet have a name. To illustrate her concept, my first friend sent along the following proposed headlines/story ideas:
Squirrel Runs Across Power Line
A Gull Flies By
Window Reflects Early Morning Orange Sunlight
Other story ideas were:
Trees Still Stand Tall Offering Free Guidance To Those That Ask
Cloudless Sky Promotes Expansive Feelings
Dog Stares Out Window Waiting For Something To Bark At
She went on to elaborate: ‘The stories in this newspaper would be short and sometimes the headline would be enough. Mostly readers would fill the story in themselves by conjuring their own associated images and responses to the headlines.’
Since she’s just starting up, I’m sure she’s looking for reporters. I suspect the pay will be low, but job satisfaction will be off the charts. If you’re interested, you can start today. As you move through your life, keep your senses open for a good story.
Stories of interest would be situations and sights you might ordinarily pass by on your way somewhere else. When come across something, stop for a moment and consider how amazingly it is exactly what it is. Then you might even let yourself get a little dreamy and notice what associations and images arise. Finally, come up with a headline and send it on.
Good luck out there.