People listen to the news only to feel reassured. Because however great the news of catastrophe they hear, those listening are still perfectly alive. The really big news is the ultimate news announcing the end of the world, I suppose. Of course, everybody wants to hear that. For then one does not need to abandon the world alone… But as long as the news goes on, it will never get to the end. Thus news constitutes the announcement that it is still not the end of the world. The following trifle clichés are merely abridgments. Last night the greatest bombings on North Vietnam this year were carried out by B52s, but somehow you are still alive. Gas lines under construction ignited and eight persons received serious and light wounds, but you are alive and safe. Record rate of rising prices, yet you continue to live. Extinction of marine life in bays by waste products from factories, but somehow you survive everything.
—from The Box Man, by Kobo Abe (via rebecca-bates)