Saturday, January 19, 2008

Year Without News

Well, I have to say I've had it. I can't take the news anymore. Yep, after eight years of up-and-down roller-coastering, of the crushingly inevitable horror that the war has become, that the presidency has become -- now that at least some of it is on the brink of being over, I realize I just can't take another second of it. I can't stand this sense of intense caring in the face of powerlessness anymore. I've erased all my news links. I'm going to spend the next year avoiding as much national news as I can.

Don't even tell me who wins the primaries, because I don't want to know!

Whew, thank God that's over.

In its place I'm going to read fiction. More and more fiction! Since we've been running this blog I've been introduced to so many great books -- I work in a bookstore, I live with a writer, but still: I have gaps in my reading. Huge ones. I'm going to spend the next year reading, but not the news.

The world of politics can do without me.

17 comments:

TIV: the individual voice said...

I've had deliberate years without news as well. It saps so much energy and for what? I can't seem to find time to read fiction for months now and it makes me feel like there is something wrong with mine. Today it's just filled with that lying liar Mitt Romney. But you don't want to hear so...I wish I could just forget about it too. I'm too obsessed right now.

jrlennon said...

Politics really sapped a lot of my creativity over the past few years. Since I quit reading political blogs a couple of months ago, I've felt as though my imagination has been returned to me. Many of those bloggers are good writers, but they were really doing a number on my noggin.

rmellis said...

I think it's Romney that pushed me over the edge, actually.

Zoe said...

Perhaps we're fortunate that all the British politicians seem to be essentially the same. Also, ours are much less "exciting" and air-brushed as their US counterparts.

Now if I could just have a year without work politics. However, it seems to be impossible to tune them out.

TIV: the individual voice said...

I think I tuned out during the entire Reagan Era. At the time, I could not imagine bringing children into this world and he only made it worse. Not only he, but the incredible denial of the media that the guy had symptoms of early Alzheimer's while still in office, both terms. As a psychologist, I was familiar with the cues. It scared the shit out of me that he was such a neurologically impaired President on top of everything else.

Pete said...

If it's any consolation, Rhian, your year of news oblivion will end with the inauguration of an individual who can't possibly be any worse than the willfully ignorant yahoo who's been leading the country for the past seven years. Not even Huckabee, who seems intent on completely replacing the Constitution with his preferred version of religious scripture, could be quite as bad.

rmellis said...

Yes, it'll be like waking from a bad dream -- that's the effect I'm going for.

Anonymous said...

Oh I know, life is so tough when every time we read the paper or turn on the radio we have to hear about war, death, and suffering. It's not relevant. Why should we waste our beautiful minds on it?

rmellis said...

Oh, for Christ's sake.

Okay, I'll take the bait. It's not the sorrows of mankind I'm taking a break from. It's the idiocy of politics -- of having to listen, over and over again, to people speculate about whether Americans are "ready" for a black president, about whether Hillary Clinton's tears were "real" or calculated. Of watching Americans just accept the deathstorm we've created in Iraq -- just as they accept the idea that it's fine that the number-one cause of bankruptcy is health crises. Oh, yeah, and having to watch the barometer of the economy go up and down based on how much plastic shit Americans stuff into plastic Target bags while the size of the garbage islands in the oceans grow ever larger.

Eight years of absorbing this shit has done nothing for me or for anyone. I'll continue with my elections work, of course, and will continue to send money to the good folks who do the good work.

Oh yeah, and fuck you.

Anonymous said...

I accept your "fuck you" as a more or less fair response to my sarcasm. I was in a bad mood this morning. But I stand by my point, and I feel you are adjusting yours (which is fine). In your response you identified the political analysis industry (the pundit class or what have you) as well as American consumerism and complacency as what you are really sick of. Indeed aren't we all.

But in your original post it was "the news" that you can't take anymore. You mention "...the crushingly inevitable horror that the war has become..." and later "...I realize I just can't take another second of it". It sounds an awful lot like complaining about having to hear about the misfortunes of others. I'm willing to concede that this is not what you meant. But can you see how my initial interpretation was like, not entirely out of left field?

You seem like a thoughtful, earnest person so again sorry for my nasty post.

jrlennon said...

anonymous, Rhian's post is, in my view, obviously about presidential politics, and not the suffering of other people. She referred to the war explicitly as an extension of Bushism, against which it is hard to feel anything but deep futility. I certainly don't see her trying to revise her position in her entirely jusitifed response to your comment.

We welcome all opinions here, and never erase comments, unless they're advertisements. But if you're going to snark, have the balls to attach your name to your complaint. An anonymous commenter narrowly interpreting a post to justify a snide insult is not welcome.

rmellis said...

I accept the apology, but you can see why I was pissed -- it wrankles to be compared to that dreadful matriarch.

Hey -- were you one of those kids who knew exactly what to say to someone to make it sting the most?

You don't have to reveal yourself, though! ;)

rmellis said...

"Wrankle"??? I must have wrinkles on the brain.

jrlennon said...

Or rinkles on the bwrain.

AC said...

I took an undergraduate class called "Getting The News From Poems". I don't remember if that's a reference to something profound, but your post dredged it up in my memory. Would you, could you if the news was all in verse format? Perhaps a haiku on Hillary's tears, or Huckabee's tax plan presented as a sonnet.

rmellis said...

What a great idea for a class!

Yeah, I'd totally be willing to get my news that way. In fact... maybe we should solicit some news-poems and post them here over the next months...

TIV: the individual voice said...

News poems. Good one. I was just complaining over at my blog about the proliferation of blogs offering random "prompts" for poetry and fiction. But News Prompts: just pick up the paper and go. That's one I could go for. Just might take you up on that one. The political ones would be funny, but I'm afraid to say that the war ones would be just as much of a bummer, maybe more so, filtered down to the essence like that.