I’m as confused as hell – and I am not going to take this anymore – Well, I am not going to read about it or watch it or listen to it, anymore.
I am cutting my news feeds. I stopped getting my media news fix on the night of Nov. 8. I retreated to my office Internet radio studio, and for two and a half hours live, on-air, I called my friends and asked them to “make me happy” – because He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named” [HWCNBN] was winning the 2016 United States Presidential race.
At 8:38pm, my sister told me that she could not understand what was happening. At 8:52, Paula P. said she was worried, that it looked real bad. At 9:24 my brother expressed his anger—he listens to too much liberal punditry. At 9:53, Emily M-C told me that it was early and the big states were not in yet—that helped, but I did not believe her. At 10:05, my nephew and another Engineering student at the University of Maryland expressed dismay with the election results. At 10:33 I called my very conservative brother-in-law in California—a HWCNBN supporter—who told me to get over it, that I should not worry about his man being president as we do not know what he will do, and he might make American great again. Furthermore, he could tell me some really bad stuff about that woman. Somehow, that did not make me feel better.
Since then I have stopped what had been an excessive need to know what was going on in the world. No more reading the NY Times on my iPad through the morning. No more Leonard Lopate and Brian Lehrer and BBC and “On the Media” [alright, I might give Brooke a break] with their identifiable sounds that soothed me through the day. No more news for me … for one month. Can I do it?
So far the experience has been sort of like what happens when you go on vacation. Habits change habits; the days pass; and the outside world diminishes—within a vacation context a news vacuum works. But I am not on vacation, and so I get up and instead of going directly to the NYTimes.com headlines, I remain with my thoughts and music. I am reading articles and books that I had put aside for when I had more time; and without the responsibility of keeping “informed,” I have more time. I plan to return to the real world of news media in one month – but for now I am wallowing in luxurious deprivation.
But I need help >>>
For the next month I want to get the news from my friends. Tell the truth or not – for someone in my position, the true truth is authentic conversations – recognizing a common bond – searching for common needs. We can talk to each other — left/right – male/female – Muslim/Jew/Christian – rich/poor – politician/citizen. We don’t need pundits and journalists telling us what is important – where to look and what to know. We live in our communities, and we know what is important to us, and it is time we started talking and listening – in respectful and smart/analytical/critical ways – to each other.
When I come out of my hole of ignorance, it is my fervent wish that our beloved Fourth Estate has gotten its “shit together” – figured out how to do its sacred work of keeping U.S. citizens of this Democracy informed with truth-seeking reporting, with news stories that can be used to make reasonable decisions about who our leaders should be in order to make our communities livable and civilized. Or at least – that that critical self-analysis has started.
In the meantime, I will broadcast Monday – Thursday [Friday is martini-nite] from 8 – 9pm on www.radio568.com. Let’s talk. Email me at email@example.com with your cell # — and I will call you live, on air. Or I will send you my number, and we will set up a time to talk on http://www.RADio568.com