We could all use a bit of good news


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AN acquaintance says she’s decided to stop consuming news because it’s a downer. She aims to avoid all mainstream media and build herself an information bunker that will admit only literature, music and television broadcasting that is uplifting.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/06/2022 (287 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

AN acquaintance says she’s decided to stop consuming news because it’s a downer. She aims to avoid all mainstream media and build herself an information bunker that will admit only literature, music and television broadcasting that is uplifting.

I respect her right to shape her world view — we all need to heed our mental health — but perhaps her strategy is too extreme if she cuts herself off from positive news stories that offer hope and encouragement. Here are examples of heartening news items she would miss:

AN ELECTRIC FUTURE — The widespread adoption of electric vehicles seems to be more promising.

Two separate developments week combined to make the economics of the EV option more compelling. First, the price of gasoline soared, to more than $2 a litre in Winnipeg. Second, the sticker price of some EVs seems to be falling, at least in the U.S.

General Motors revealed this week the 2023 version of its Bolt EV will sell for US$26,595, a whopping 18.5 per cent price cut from last year. It’s competing with the 2022 Nissan Leaf, which starts at US$27,400.

The price reductions in the U.S. haven’t yet changed the Canadian prices for these same cars, but it’s promising that EVs are getting closer to the price of gasoline-powered compact cars, especially when the incentives of government grants and fuel savings are factored in.

The synchronicity of these two changes — gas prices rising, costs of EVs declining — may be the tipping point that makes many drivers consider options to gasoline. That would be good news for the planet and all of us who live on it.

PLUS-SIZED POSITIVITY — It’s heartening to look at the cover of the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue (of course, ahem, I studied it only as a requirement of my professional obligation as an observer of social trends.)

The cover photograph is of a scantily-clad woman whose physique is a wonderful departure from the stereotypical bathing beauties. To use the current euphemism, she’s plus-sized. The model, Yumi Nu, 25, is a Japanese-Dutch singer who was also the first plus-sized model on the cover of Vogue Japan.

OK, granted, it’s tacky for a sports magazine to have a swimsuit edition, but at least they’re celebrating body diversity.

GRIEF EMBODIED — The funeral of Winnipegger Cliff Derkson last weekend got wide media coverage that was a soul-stirring reminder of how he and his wife Wilma promoted forgiveness after the murder of their daughter, Candace, in 1984.

Cliff coped with his grief partly by sculpting, including a piece called Project Angel, which showed feathered hands turning into wings, “wrists becoming free of bondage, the rope falling away, as she ascends like a bird, ushered by angels to her eternal reward! Freedom without pain and filled with joy.”

FREEDOM FROM THE JOB — Ontario’s right-to-disconnect law went into effect on June 3, the first of its kind in Canada. It means companies with 25 or more employees must have a written policy that, outside of working hours, employees don’t have to engage in work-related emails, phone calls or video chats.

Seems like a big victory for work-life balance that Manitoba would do well to consider.

Of course, the concept of taking a scheduled respite from work is nothing new. According to the Book of Exodus, God rested from creation on the seventh day, and then told people to also keep the Sabbath as a day of rest.

Some people are modernizing this eminently sensible tradition with a secular adaptation called a Technology Sabbath, which prescribes a day free of all screens: no television, computers or smartphones.

Turning off all technology for a complete day, going cold turkey, would be a considerable challenge for those of us who are tethered to our screens. But perhaps that’s the wrong way to consider a Technology Sabbath. Instead of looking at it as doing without, we should consider what we could do with all the freed-up time.

GET THE PARTIES STARTED — The months of June, July and August have always shown Winnipeg at its best; warm weather, long evenings and a rich schedule of events and festivals.

The pandemic cancelled the fun of public gatherings for a couple of summers, but celebrations are back in full force with last weekend’s Pride festivities, the Red River Exhibition from June 17 to 26, the Winnipeg Folk Festival from July 7 to 10, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival from July 13 to 24. Other opportunities to gather outdoors as part of a spirited crowd include watching pro teams such as the Blue Bombers, the Goldeyes and Valour FC.

It’s prime time to have a good time in the city.


Carl DeGurse is a member of the Free Press editorial board.

Carl DeGurse

Carl DeGurse
Senior copy editor

Carl DeGurse’s role at the Free Press is a matter of opinion. A lot of opinions.

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