Nothing new

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which it may be said,
“ See, this is new”?
It has already been in ancient times before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come
By those who will come after. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11)

I like blogging.  It gives me something to do that doesn’t involve watching television (which usually means PBS cartoons).  I have to admit, however, that I am probably more forgetful than most, so a lot of the ideas that I have usually don’t make it here.  So, I was sitting around wanting to write something (and not remembering all of those things that came to mind to write about today) and decided to see if anything in the news was blog-worthy.  As usual inspiration struck in a way that was barely related to what I was doing, but since I was sitting here at my computer I didn’t have time to forget it.  Here goes.

I clicked on the “latest headlines” feed at the top of my browser and a list of recent news items popped up.  I started scrolling through looking for something that would catch my interest when the words, “blah, blah, blah,” started running through my head.  I was struck by the incredible sameness of all the news stories.  That isn’t to say that they were all about the same thing, in fact, somewhat remarkably there were not two articles on the same subject in the portion of the list that I read.

No, the sameness that I’m talking about is the type that Solomon spoke of in Ecclesiastes when he said that “there is nothing new under the sun.”  Although the stories are different in detail, there is a painfully repetitious feel to them.  Somebody got murdered or died.  Some politician or other celebrity did something scandalous.  Some sports team defeated (or was defeated by) some other sports team, possibly unexpectedly.  Something happened in the economy, which was either good or bad.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

These things have been happening throughout all of history, from Adam and Eve in the Garden (deception), to Cain and Abel (murder), to Sodom and Gomorrah (sexual sin), to the grumbling and golden calves of the Israelites (see the entire Old Testament, but especially Exodus), to Samson (pride), to idolizing religion (the Pharisees and Saducees of the Gospels), . . . the list could go on and on.  And those are just some of the examples in the Bible.  Just think about all of the things that have happened in the last two thousand years.  But, as you are thinking of them, notice how they are all the same things, over and over.

That was foretold in Ecclesiastes, though, as well.  Not only is there nothing new, but we are also doomed to forget the things that have come before.  Ecclesiastes 1:11 states, “There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.”  I don’t know why we think that things have always been the way they are (take, for instance, the general public’s insistence that we cannot live without entitlement programs, when most have only existed since 1944).  So, there’s nothing new, but we are doomed to repeat it because we don’t remember what has come before.

That is why I generally avoid reading the news, watching the news, talking about the news.  It’s all the same and it’s depressing.  I don’t really need another reason to get depressed.  Why then, you say, did I look to the news feed for inspiration?  Well, like I said, I really wanted to write something.  And here it is.  Something.

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