Headlines
Cooper skimmed the tape from the Associated Press, preparing for his broadcast. He frowned. Wasn’t there good news when he started this job? Weather. He could depend on weather for something less than terror.
Winter storm continues
The winter storm continues, setting a new record for the longest number of days with sub-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions in the United States. Predictions have the northeast blanketed with another ten inches of snow by Monday. Conservative network Wolf News plans to air a special broadcast in celebration of the new record: “Global Warming, the Hoax.” No meteorologists nor scientists will participate, since they are all now residing in the overcrowded dissident compound in Washington, D.C…
He wasn’t reporting that. He’d have to remember to get the puffer coat out though. World events?
Mudslides in Brazil
The mountains of Petropolis, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, summer playground for the elite of city of Rio, have completed their descent via mudslide and now cover the city street, all the roads and buildings. Hundreds have died, hundreds more buried beneath the mud and rubble….
He was no fan of Brazil, but that didn’t mean he wanted to exploit their misery. Europe? Maybe.
Russian Troops Escalate Invasion prospects.
250,000 soldiers deployed, war planes maneuvering into attack formation…
Hell no.
Maybe the Queen is up to something interesting.
UK Braces for Eunice
Eunice? Is that one of the royal nieces? He wished his mother were alive, she knew them all personally.
Meteorologists in the UK have issued a rare danger-to-life alert as Storm Eunice is forecast to batter parts of the country Friday, potentially creating a “sting jet” that could bring havoc to streets…
He had no idea what a sting jet was, but he could tell it wasn’t good. His program was “Good Morning.” Not “Apocalypse Now.” Maybe he’d pull out that movie and watch it tonight, after the kids went to bed. Still needed a lead story though.
Covid….
Enough already. Wait, what’s this?
Trump Must Testify.
Sigh. He was supposed to be reporting real news, not fantasy. Or prayer.

10 Comments

  1. David O'Connor

    Georgiana, this captures that feeling we get since virtual reality took over the news, that scrolling effect is not like turning the pages of a newspaper, when news was agreed upon by people that believed and studied what they were doing. I wonder if Cooper’s pov could be expanded upon somehow. Maybe something in his/her personal life that keeps creeping in and battling the ability to focus/work. Incidentally, I have some friends in Petropolis who are going through hell, and when I compare that to Trump or Ukraine–the former far outweighs the latter, I wonder if Cooper would feel that way or does, either way this is a great start. It captures a feeling we all have these days when reading the news, well done!

  2. Len Kuntz

    Hi Georgina,

    Well, wow, this was a romp, and then some. You’ve created an entirely relatable tale here–the anxiety of life today, fraught with all its many problems, and then the way the news foments that to their advantage. I was going with Anderson Cooper because of the initial name drop, and then this bit–“He wished his mother were alive, she knew them all personally.” I love all the tension you create, in so many different ways, and in such a taut piece. That’s not easy to do.

  3. Francine Witte

    Love the on the pulse feel of this. The want for good news but alas. And I love that last line.

  4. Benjamin Niespodziany

    Doomstrolling in prose poem form, I dig it! These work nicely as a sequence. Having it all stacked up against each other feels very much like flipping through your phone, but part of me also wants to see these spaced out a bit, given more room to breathe as standalone commentaries/headlines.

  5. Kristin Bonilla

    I feel like I’m learning a new crazy weather term at least once or twice a year these days. Yes, just googled “sting jet.” Holy cow. This one really captures the current mood, Georgiana! Love the humor with “Wolf News” and the reference to Apocalypse Now!

  6. Jonathan Cardew

    “…Eunice? Is that one of the royal nieces?”

    Gosh, I love the voice in this piece! And such an excellent mash-up of headlines–so creative! And you land at a great place: prayer. God, we need prayer after doomscrolling.

    If you work on this piece any more, I might suggest italicizing the headlines or the character’s thoughts. Might break it nicely.

    You could also try a really long title like “Cooper Skims the Associated Press Tape and Sinks Further and Further into his Chair” and then have the headlines alone (not sure if this would work, but worth trying out maybe?)

    Thanks for sharing this piece!

    –Jonathan

  7. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Georgiana, this makes me want to do this exercise also! I’ve sworn off watching or reading news for some time now. I know, the shadow side of that is being “uninformed” but this piece of yours generates news the way I’d prefer to read or hear it! I like these seemingly random (are they truly?) snippets, sound bites, with the container all being “Headlines” and told through a prose poemy, songster sort of POV. It reminded me of standing in a grocery checkout line (when I used to be “rung up”) and reading magazines (like the National Geographic’s) headlines. Also, could be interpreted as a List Poem, too. Very inventive!

  8. Wilson Koewing

    Georgina,

    What a great concept here. Felt very much like the horrors of the real world. lol. And I enjoyed the back and forth. News then commentary. i wondered if that could really be ratcheted up a notch. Play around with it to offer us a vivid view of who this character is.

    Wilson

  9. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Georgiana, Sigh, you caught the News of the Day as we experience it every morning. But I love the POV. Haven’t thought about what it must be like trying to find some good news to report, especially something of substance. Nice. Well done.

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