Every morning I turn the TV on to a cable news channel to make sure the world hasn’t ended. And then, I turn on the weather. Or my DVR. Or music. Or I read. Because, and this is sad for a journalism major to say, the best diet for peace of mind today is a news-free one.
The constant jabber of the 24-hour news cycle is unbearable, especially because what’s being reported reflects how far we’ve sunk as a nation. And a world.
Even the opossum who visits us late at night knows that Epstein committed suicide, that Prince Andrew enjoyed himself at the expense of young women. And yet, the official stories will never change. We live in a world where if you repeat something enough it becomes true.
Just ask that awful man in the Oval, who continues to lie, cheat and show the world how absolutely nuts he is–and yet a significant proportion of the American public are gullible enough to believe him. Being reminded of this 24/7 does nothing for my peace of mind.
The political system is in a shambles. Millennials aren’t the only self-involved group–just look at most of our elected officials and especially Republicans. Of any age. They care only about maintaining their own power and re-election. Ethics and constituent benefits are not factors, not any more. Republicans have lost their moral compass … the system is broken.
And oh yes, there are Democrats without a moral compass, but far fewer at this time. I can’t believe that back in the day I defended Bill Clinton. The times have changed, I wouldn’t dream of it today. Today, though, Republicans are lost.
I don’t really care about Meghan and Harry but everyone has an opinion–either they are saints or they are awful, self-centered people. Just ask her ridiculous family, who is a source for so many tabloid headlines and who get paid for generating that vile news. Now, even my cable provider runs Meghan and Harry headlines. This is what we have been reduced to. Do they really matter? They do not.
Oprah lost my respect a long time ago but now we find that she has pulled out of a #MeToo documentary she and Apple were producing. The subject, Russell Simmons, had pressured her. Of course, despite her pure image, Oprah is as corrupt as any of them. Her own closely guarded secrets make her as vulnerable, as, well, Prince Andrew. But not in the same way. I flipped on her when she became a caricature of herself but in recent years her power has grown and she is not exercising it for good, either. It does nothing for my peace of mind when gullible women offer her up as a great presidential candidate. Not hardly.
Venerable newspapers like the New York Times, which I consider to be the best newspaper in the world, are being banned from super-conservative libraries because that awful man in the Oval calls the NYT a purveyor of fake news. Nothing could be further from the truth, but there are huge segments of the American public who lack critical thinking skills. This, too, does nothing for my peace of mind.
Nothing new in politics–I don’t care if Joe stumbles, Bernie lies, Pete is too young…it’s ABT, anyone but that awful man, so who the candidate is doesn’t matter. I’d like it to be Amy Klobuchar but I’ll vote blue no matter who.
I haven’t even gotten to gun violence, racist behavior, a repressive judges and stupid evangelicals. Oh and there’s more. So much more.
We are vulnerable to evil interests, as people and as a nation. We have become a nation where stupid people set the agenda. Do I need to be reminded of that all over the news, 24/7?
I do not. So news-free is the way I roll. I sit with a book. I watch something entertaining.
Oh, I dig into the New York Times from Friday through Sunday. It’s smart journalism. I trust it. But other than that, my peace of mind depends on my exit from mainstream news.
What has happened to us?
Whatever it is, it does nothing for my peace of mind. So I hold to my own beliefs, do what I can and try to live my life.
What else can I do?