Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Last night I was bored and turned on the TV and happened upon the news. This morning as I drove the big truck into work, not being accustomed to the radio channels I listened to the news on NPR. It occurred to me that I don’t listen to the news any more.

Years ago I was a news junkie- world news on TV, political commentary on the internet, NPR was constantly on- hell, I had a crush on Teri Gross for Christ sake. Somewhere along the line I lost interest in what was going on in the world. Let me rephrase that, I care what’s going on but I’m tired of hearing about the terrible things we do to each other.

Last night and again this morning I realized I know longer bother with hardcore news. I get the New York Times delivered each Sunday but I peruse the front page and The Week in Review but mostly I read The Book Review, the Travel and Arts Sections. I didn’t write about the Virginia Tech shooting because I don’t know anything about it. I heard it was an Asian guy, which is odd because mass murderers are usually white but other than that nothing.

I pondered this for awhile- have I become apathetic? The sad truth is that a part of me has- mass killings are par for the course – aren’t they? Is anyone truly surprised when this happens these days? Shocked. Yes. Surprised. No. I used to watch everything and anything when an ‘event’ went down but it wasn’t out of concern it was more out of fascination- how many people stayed glued to the TV coverage of Virginia Tech because they thought they could effect some change and how many watched out of morbid entertainment. It got less play than the death of Anna Nicole Smith. I’m willing to bet that the majority of people watched it to be entertained. That is not to say they enjoyed it or thought it was funny but that they were consumed with it in the same sense we are entertained by a car crash.

I’m tired of the evil shit that others do from Virginia Tech to Howard K. Stern to George Bush. I find their actions to be an infringement on my life and I have decided to not give them the attention they long for. So I will continue my moratorium on giving the evil of the world my attention.


Aralena said...

I'm right there with you on the TV news - and the fact that I don't have a TV is not the primary reason. I still read some papers, but have wittled it down to online versions of Le Monde and Guardian - and a lot of American niche publications (Arts & Literature Daily is a Godsend). But TV news? Non merci. It is so clearly produced to coddle advertisers and big business that integrity and focusing on issues that effect citizens as citizens and not as gore/scandal addicts has nearly disappeared.

I don't think you can be blamed for forsaking this offensive stuff.

There. I heard it was Tuesday Rant Day!

Karyn said...

You know? I really think part of this distaste for the hardcore stuff, which I share to some extent, is self preservation.

This shit threatens to consume me if I dwell too long upon it; from the perpetual crises in the Middle East to hate crimes to mass slaughters to familial murder suicides to homicide bombers (why call them suicide bombers exactly?) to the - surprise! - toxic residual dust from 9/11 - it just sucks the life out of me and leaves me rattling around in the early throes of an anxiety attack.

Self preservation, I tell you. Switch it to some rockin' music and at least fake myself out that the world is okay at the moment...

Well, anyway.

m.m.crow said...

i agree with karyn. self preservation is key. i don't get any channels, don't read the newspaper and only listen to vpr sporatically now. we throw stones into the water and all those circles overlap and come back to shore eventually. we are our thoughts and our thoughts project. we can listen to that shit, immerse ourselves in it and fill our circles with the baggage and weight of humaity's worst or we could do our own good work and be soley responsible for the good stuff our circles share.