A weekend with virtually no news seems to be precisely what the doctor ordered. It was a helpful reminder that there’s enough going on within my span of control to absorb every bit of free time I want to have on any given day. It was kind of great to focus in on those things rather than spending a lot of time focused in on external issues.
My news and media brown out only lasted until I sat down with a computer terminal in front of me this morning. Then I was greeted by headlines warning that “Poll reveals staggering polarization ahead of midterms,” “Fundamentals flashing red; Last pillar of credit crumbles,” and, of course, any number of stories highlighting Donald Trump being his normal, beshitted self. None of those are apt to keep one’s blood pressure down, but what else would anyone really expect on a Monday morning?
I like to imagine I now have all the all the input I need to start scaling back on the amount of hard and soft news I’m consuming on a daily basis, but breaking the habits of a lifetime is probably something of a slow burn. Even if it were possible, I’m not sure I’d ever want to wander through the world completely unaware of what’s happening – if for no other reason than it would create a whole lot of white space when it comes time to sit down every day and do a bit of writing. Short of turning this space into a blog focused on petting dogs and cats, reading books, and highlighting the occasional home cooked meal, keeping a bit of a grip on current events is probably inevitable.
In any case, I think what that leaves me with is a strong desire to begin curtailing how engaged I am with broad-sourced news coverage – maybe a little less Drudge and a bit more heavily curating Google News to spit out coverage on more tailored issues. It feels like a good idea… and I have no idea if it’s the kind of change I can make work for the long term.