People who have been reading this blog for a while know that there was a time when I would post interesting news tidbits gleaned from Harper’s Weekly and often I would add some editorializing. I haven’t done that for a while, for several reasons.
Firstly, I take a tiny bit of pride in my blog content being more or less unique – if you want to read the news there are better places to go.
Secondly, those posts become dated very fast.
Thirdly, I get frustrated with news. I get frustrated with how the media perceives what they report on and I get frustrated on how they report on it and I get frustrated with the confines set upon news reporting in general – i.e. how much space and attention is given to one subject verses another (you know, Paris Hilton vs the dangers of alternative medicine, for example), how news is sponsored and how that censors the facts — all that boring old shit that everyone knows. That frustration builds until I get news burnout, which is very similar to how I get people burnout, but it lasts a lot longer.
The specifics of news stories will change from day to day but the underlying message is always the same: people are ignorant, intolerant, dangerous pricks. I learned that years ago, and then later I came to accept it. I don’t let it rule my personal philosophy and behaviour, obviously. I mean I’m a bit antisocial but I don’t feel like I’ve retreated from the world like a hermit because X number of innocent people were murdered today. And I don’t dress up in a bat costume and mete out street justice because among other things, I’m a pacifist and a coward. But I do what I can to not be one of those people.
Still, my reaction lately has simply been to ignore current events and distract myself with more pleasant things (or more rarely, work) which I’m actually somewhat embarrassed about, because I don’t think that’s a responsible (or healthy) outlook for a man of my age and my era, either. Best’s comparatively intense involvement in human rights issues and activism in general has shone a rather glaring light on my previously unspoken shame.* For the time being at least (pending burnout) I pledge to the Nine Gods of Slack that I will muster up some kind of wan crack at keeping up.
In summation, I am going to make a little more effort to stay on top of “the news” (besides what new cartoons are coming out) so I invite any and all to talk to me about current events so that I can showcase for all to see my vast ignorance of social, political, historical and geographical issues.
Additionally/as a result, I may bring back some of the news editorializing, but will try to keep it upbeat and cool. For example, did you know that Tom Jones insured his chest hair for $7 mil, or that they’re giving backpacks to flying lemurs, or that the BBC discovered that a female worm-like amphibian allows her young to peel off and eat her skin?
*Don’t think for a moment she has pressured me in any way into doing anything. On the contrary, I have found her ethos and work inspiring, just by being around her and hearing about her day to day a-doin’s. This falls exactly in line with my own philosophy of activism – leading by example.