A News Fast is Looking Harder to Resist
I lived through the election of Ronald Reagan, twice, and George W. Bush, twice. So this is not the first time I have been on the losing side, yet, I’ve never felt more afraid and more angry about a new president.
I am a news junkie—consuming news via the kitchen radio tuned to NPR every morning, the Recorder newspaper that lands on our stoop, and until the past month, the thick Wall Street Journal waiting for me in my mailbox.
Oh, and every night tuning in to Rachel Maddow on MSBNC. But I am growing weary of it all, especially today when last night’s clips of Donald Trump boasting on stage and calling the media liars literally gave me nightmares.
I am beginning to wonder if one of my former girlfriends was right when she put herself into a self-imposed news blackout for years. I don’t know if I can take it. I started by not renewing my big daily paper by mail. It was a credit card change, but when it stopped coming, I didn’t renew. And the evening watching of Maddow’s show, I don’t think I want that either.
I am going to let Trump do what he wants, appoint whatever unqualified people he chooses, and just not know so much about it. I can’t change who he picks to lead his cabinet, I can’t fix his warped views about climate change and Supreme Court judges, I can only do a slow boil when I hear the details. So I am out.
I’m paring down my news diet and working to try and focus on my travel publishing business, my grandchildren, my music and my friendships. I want to put more energy into reading fiction and interesting non-fiction books, watching more movies on Netflix, and enjoying other non-news media.
Maybe a news fast might be too much for me, but I just need to get away from this. How do you feel?
December 29, 2016 @ 3:31 pm
A news fast is a good idea, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay involved and resist, instead of the total apathy for which you seem to be headed. Corporate outlet news (including Maddow’s output and MSNBC) is crap, and it can be an addiction just like anything else. By greatly reducing our consumption of “information” laden with commentary designed to elicit emotion and not to actually inform I think we actually free up internal resources that can be of utility in actually changing our lousy political system in America, and to expand our understanding of how things really work – instead of just reacting. I reached a similar point, but instead of just shutting down I’ve started reading the work of thinkers with whom I might not totally agree but who challenge my basic assumptions…including people like Morris Berman (How America Failed), Howard Zinn, and even old but interesting stuff like the work of Toynbee (Civilization on Trial, etc.). it’s not time for Americans to jam their heads further up their rears, which is in large part how we got into this mess, but it is time for us to do a serious reassessment of what we consume and why…including junk news.
December 29, 2016 @ 3:36 pm
Also – I’d suggest getting out and actually doing something about the current situation instead of just consuming “news” designed to elicit emotion, as an antidote. There is plenty to do, including joining up with WolfPac to get money out of politics and efforts to go state by state and get rid of the the stupid, antiquated Electoral College system – another major factor in our getting to our present awful situation. Action and not mindless consumption is the way forward.