A friend of mine once asked me why I don’t watch the news. I suppose it is as valid a question as why DO you watch the news. I’m not a total hermit and I do have a general idea of what is going on in the world and there is some news that will actually attract my attention.
I explained to them my feelings on the news and they half-heartedly listened as she scanned the news on their computer and my phone messed up for a minute and when I caught back up with them they were telling me something about monkeys biting peoples heads off or something. It sort of went to hell there for a minute, but we recovered. We talk in circles a bit, both of us easily distracted by shiny things in the midst of a sentence. Eventually we make our way back around but it’s frequently a long trip.
Back on track . . . My stance on the news is basically this:
Some news is good, therefore I like to hear it.
Some news is bad, therefore I don’t like to hear it.
Don’t take this to mean that I never hear or listen to the bad news. That’s what most of it seems to be so it’s a little hard to avoid. In either case, I like to get my news in small chunks, one piece of information at a time. I will sit down with the paper in the morning and read that. I see a title of an article that interests me and I’ll read it and when I see one that doesn’t, I skip it. Textbook example of why you writers need to know that your title is, many times, the most important part of your work. The paper is the best way for me to get my news as my brain can’t seem to handle television news.
I don’t get to pick my topics on the TV and I’m stuck having to wait through whatever bullshit story they want to go through first before I can get to the one I want to hear, in which case, I’ve either left the room and lost interest or I’ve fallen asleep. Let’s say I actually get to the story I want to hear and now I’m trying to listen to the reporter. At the same time there is a ticker moving across the screen at the bottom listing headlines for other stories that have not one freaking iota to do with the story I’m listening to, but the possibility exists that one of those stories may be equally as interesting and I don’t want to miss it.
Now my attention is divided and I’m not getting enough of either story to keep up.
Reporter: “A local blogger gained national attention today when his. . . ”
News Ticker: “Monkey bites the head off of a. . .”
Reporter: “giant metal chicken that was mysteriously placed in his front yard . . .”
News Ticker: “. . . immediately following his natural mating season”
Reporter: “The blog post immediately went viral just after . . . ”
News Ticker: “The stock for the makers of generic penicillin fall 34 points.”
Reporter: “The blogger was quoted as saying, “I couldn’t be happier! Now my . . . ”
News Ticker: “83 year old grandmother wants to get breast implants”
Reporter: “Look! A squirrel!”
Clearly I was not meant to intake information in multiples of anything. Obviously this was an example that I just made up, but that is pretty much how it goes for me. It’s like having two people trying to talk to you at the same time. One on one, you love to talk to both people, but when they are both trying to do it at once, you just want to stab them both.
I have my paper in the morning and I’m good with that. It makes me feel better about myself. Especially the way I see some of these people write. I think they know most people are getting their news from the internet now, so the guys doing the articles now are pretty much like, Herb, that used to work down in the mailroom and Timmy that used to deliver the paper on his bike in the morning.
Timmy’s job was taken by a disgruntled, overweight, night-time internet stalker with a 4-pack-a-day habit in a rusty mini-van.
I also have no choice but to take the news with a grain of salt. Of course a lot of news is about politics, ironic because the news itself is political. Let’s face it, a reporter’s job is to present you with a story and give you all the facts, but that asshole is like every other asshole out there and he’s got an opinion and whether he means to or not, he’s gonna give it to you. It may not be in what he says. Hand gestures, body language and the inflection of his speech. Sometimes it’s just plain in their eyes. Their voice says “The political climate here at the Democratic National Convention is tense, but the attendees all seem to be getting along famously”, but the eyes . . . are staring over the cameraman’s shoulder and saying, “Good GOD, look at the ass on her!”
I’d say he cares less than I do, but that just isn’t possible.
If anybody wants to be cured of their obsession with politics, let me give your email address to my father, the founder and reigning Chairman of the I Hate Obama so I do something about it by spamming your email accounts with I Hate Obama forwards Association. As a member of the IHOSIDSAIBSYEAWIHOF Club you get:
- 2 – 4 emails a day that start with “Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fw:”
- “short” excerpt from articles that rival the length of this blog . . .since I started it in June
- These emails will express their discontent about the Obama administration and how “stupid” it is. Ironically, the emails will be poorly spelled grammatical nightmares.
- Perhaps I didn’t mention that my father is also a closed-minded, racist too, so be prepared for that as well.
If you think I’m kidding, I went back through my Trash folder in my Thunderbird email thingamajigger, which I have apparently not emptied in 6 years. These are actual subject lines from emails from my father:
- FW: New Border Signs
- FW: medicare (Tagline: WE MUST REALLY DISLIKE OUR OLD PEOPLE……OR WE MUST REALLY LOVE TACOS!!!)
- FW: PRESIDENTIAL OBSERVATIONS BY THE SECRET SERVICE
- FW: Hillary Clinton’s Indian name
- FW: MIDDLE FINGER
- FW: FW: Fwd: 40 Billion Well Spent!
- Fwd: Fwd: FW: Obama the Messiah?
- Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: FW: Economy 101 (This one closed with “Ya’ll gotta Keep this one circulating, please!”
- Fwd: Fwd: FW: Hail to the chief?
- Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Where the hell is my screwdriver?? (This one was actually just an email from him to me. I think one of his super-duper-secret-squirrel-email-cleaner-and-nazi-decoder-thing programs automatically makes them a forward. There’s a child in Thailand looking for a screwdriver right now.)
- Fwd: Fwd: FW: A Realistic View on Islam (Oh yeah, this was as closed-minded as you think!)
- Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: FW: Obama, the worst president in US history. (No dad, tell me what you REALLY think!)
. . .and finally, I got this one today . . .
- Fwd: Fw: WSJ SIZES UP OBAMA (REALLY?! The Wall Street Journal . . .a NEWS organization . . . wrote a story about *gasp* The President?! Fuck me dead!)
No way I could put them all here, but this just gives you an idea. The count in my Trash Folder: 96 emails from my father since 2007. 10 of them were actually personal emails, 3 of which were announcing his changing phone number each time he bought a new $15 cell phone (I’ve NEVER called the man), 2 were two pics he had to send in separate emails because he doesn’t know how to resize and 4 of them were telling us how we could buy cheap shit even cheaper (I shit you not, one of them was sent to help us save 3 cents.) . . . and then of course, there was the screwdriver. I hid that fucker just to piss him off.
As for me, I didn’t get that gene, thank God. Do I think Obama sucks? Quite frankly, they all suck. Obama sucks, McCain would have sucked, in the end, it’s all just a big suckfest and why do I want to sit down and watch the news about that.
Facebook post of the day: