I’m done. I’ve had it. I just can’t take anymore. The radio is off. I don’t know for how long, but I need a break. I can’t stand the fear, greed, and politics anymore. I don’t need it. In the long run, they have blessedly little effect on my daily life. Granted, the newscasters would like you to think it’s impactful to you, but is it? No. Most of the stories…in particular about the stock market, but politics as well…are all based on rumor, innuendo, and guesswork. All it does is annoy, irritate, and/or depress me. I’ve got better things to do with my ears.
Realize that this means I’m almost completely cut off now. I don’t count this as a major loss, honestly. The information age is only as good as the information it’s spreading around, and right now it’s not looking so hot.
We got rid of our cable right before we moved out of the apartment. We were throwing at least $100 a month down the toilet for the 5,000,000 channels of endless drivel. For the same amount of money, I’d rather (and hubby would rather as well) buy DVDs and watch them. Best yet, watch what we want when we want without commercials. See, it had long past since started to really confuse me why I was even being plagued with commercials. The commercials, hypothetically, were supposed to pay for the programming I was watching. But there I was, paying to watch commercials. Something didn’t smell right in Denmark.
Hubby & I really like this way of living. We’ve a little extra money in our pockets, and a heckuva DVD collection (most of which has admittedly revolved around collecting the old Doctor Who episodes. What can I say? We’re happily geeky!) But as a result, the vast majority of my news comes from one of three places; internet, radio, and newspaper. Admittedly, not so much from the newspaper anymore. I’ve gotten to the point where I go straight for the funny papers & the coupons. That’s about it.
So we’re down to radio and internet. I had an AOL email address for the longest time (long enough that it was a “screen name” that didn’t have any numbers in it…for those who remember these things!). AOL began to get on my nerves because the splash pages were overwhelming filled with the latest escapades of whichever wacko du jour was getting the most press in Hollywood. I don’t care. I have never cared. I also don’t care about the newest up & coming child/teen/adult star/actor/singer/heart-throb. I don’t care about Hollywood–all they’re putting out these days are remakes, sequels, and comic books turned into movies…or remakes of sequels of comic book movies. Honestly, how many Hulk movies do we need, anyway? And the “actors” are all the same carbon copy synthetic humanoid with absolutely no character and no ability to act. If you can read the teleprompter and have had sufficient cosmetic surgery, you’ve got a job in Hollywood. Any day now, they’ll all be unemployed, replaced by animatronics and/or androids with more personality than all of them combined.
Wow…that was pretty harsh, eh?
This does not mean that I have no respect for honest-to-goodness, dyed-in-the-wool actors. Quite the contrary. I just know there are few of them left in Lala land. Most of them are actually on a stage somewhere in the world, or hanging out at the BBC. Those people can act, no teleprompter necessary.
At any rate, that’s why I got rid of the AOL account. The little information I pick up about the Kardashians from the tabloids at the checkout at the grocery store is more than enough, thank you very much.
As far as the radio goes, it’s been years now (maybe even decades) since I gave up all hope on popular musical radio. Again, too many commercials. Also too many talentless pretty people who’d never be on the radio without an awful lot of help from their technical support (and plastic surgeons). No one will ever hear their voices unaltered. Not to mention that there’s no creativity there. Whatever sound is popular right now is what they will all imitate. Monkey see, monkey do.
The radio I’ve just turned off wasn’t musical. I have my music. I know what I like. It’s a strange combination of sounds, styles, and artists…and I’m very comfortable with that. I would never find one radio station that catered to all my musical tastes; it’s just not possible. I used to have friends who lamented not being around in the 60s/70s to see some of our favorites live on stage… in particular the Grateful Dead. I used to disagree with them. Having been born in the decade I was, I have the selection of everything before them as well as everything after them. And that’s a heckuva lot of amazing music!
No, I’ve turned off the news radio, the last bastion of information from the outside world that was allowed into this house with the exception of the Sunday paper and the occasional stumbling over things on the internet and the screaming headlines from the aforementioned supermarket tabloids.
My frustration began to fester last week with the buildup of 9-11. I’m not getting into that whole thing…others have said everything better. But the complete exploitation of the day by everyone in the media was just more than I could bear. Every five minutes there was another neatly packaged sound byte of trauma. By the actual day, I needed to get away. I ran off to my sanctus sanctorum (otherwise known as Panera), plugged into my laptop, and took my frustration, twisted it into creativity and focused it onto my manuscript. It was a good day.
The frustration hasn’t ended, however, nor do I believe it will anytime soon. This information age…is killing us. The news is never good, never happy, never even cautiously optimistic. Predictions of a second recession, threatened terrorist attacks, and endless rhetoric from sparring presidential candidates isn’t making the situation in this country any better. If anything, all this “information” is making things worse.
So I’m doing my part. Call it ignorance if you will, cause it stupid if you must, but I’d rather be happy than “informed.” I’m going back to my old way of existence. If I want to know something, I will research it and make up my own mind. I’m going to be more discretionary about what actually makes it into my head, not filling it up with useless bullkaka that someone else is telling me is important. I’m taking back control of my mind. Honestly, if more people did the same we might see some improvements in this country.
Okay, maybe not. But I will be a happier person without the radio. At least for now.