Today, like nearly every other day in the past 15 years, found me in the middle of a conversation that starts something like this..”Hey Tess! What did you think of that rat bastard, (insert any polarizing figure in the news) and that horrible thing he/she said? That crazy Senator? President? Communist Dictator? Did you see that? Whew- wee, what a mess, the world’s a freaking mess. Right Tess? Right?” ZZZzzzzzzzz…huh? What? Oh, I’m sorry but you have mistaken me for someone that has an opinion. You’ve got the wrong girl, finally.
I can’t really blame the questioner, I brought it all on myself. Years and years of reading newspapers, magazines, watching the news nightly placed me in the company of like minded folks. We were informed to say the least. My father taught me at a young age to beware the bias of the printed word, to read the news from the ” left” and the “right” and know that the truth lies somewhere in between. I started every day armed with information, good and bad, but mostly bad. Death tolls rolled off my tongue, a grim reaper of sorts who became more than slightly annoyed with the folks who had no clue..”I didn’t know there was a plane crash/ an earthquake/ Saadam was captured..” etc. How do you people live your lives I thought..and oh my God, these people vote. Idiots.
The advent of 24 hour cable news was like sticking the needle in the vein. I was done. The nightly news was a dim memory, like that silly little joint we passed around in the dorm room..child’s play now. CNN, MSNBC and FOX all day, all night. I fell asleep to the 2nd showings of O’Reilly, Hannity and Greta every single night..after watching the first showings. Joe would implore me to turn it off, “how can you stand the shouting?” ..he hated it..and would stalk off to watch Food Network, leaving me alone in the bedroom with my little meth news lab.. I’m pretty sure this broke every rule of “How to keep your marriage fresh and sexy”.but I didn’t care, shush it , Al Sharpton and O’Reilly were getting ready to slug it out. My people would need me in the morning for updates, talking points, a little lunch table quid pro quo. Sometimes I even took notes on the more complicated subjects, wouldn’t want to fall from my soapbox in disgrace, had to be sharp. Ask Tess..she’ll know.
I was becoming an angry, middle aged woman who I didn’t want to hang out with anymore.
So, cold turkey it was. A shockingly painless withdrawal as I simply replaced the bad news with good news. Beautiful words, photography, art and poetry became my news of the day. I’m no Snow White, don’t get me wrong. I have already revealed some of my many shortcomings in prior blog entries, but being a rabid news fanatic, I am proud to report, is no longer one of them. I was pushing my grocery cart through the flipping store the other day and overheard two women, looked to be pushing 80 years old, complaining loudly….”isn’t it just awful..you can’t trust anyone anymore’..”I don’t trust anyone”. How sad. Thanks ladies for the reminder. I am choosing trust and the belief that there are more good folks than bad out there….shut off the damn news and you just might find a few .