after my last blog entry, i received a lot of flak from people who thought that my self imposed media blackout was irresponsible and immature. no one could believe that i could still be a moral, upstanding, righteous member of the human community without a daily dose of newsprint and tv chatter. i felt so guilty that i decided that maybe my critics were right. maybe i was being selfish by not taking on, every day, my share of anxiety and angst. by not getting my daily dose of the news i was not holding up my end. my friends felt that my avoiding the media just left them more news to have to absorb on their own. so i gave in and bought the new york times.
i must admit, my hands trembled a bit as i held my first newsprint in eleven days. i scanned the front page - in the left hand column, yet another controversy about stem cell research. the other two articles above the fold were about bill richardson's bid for the democratic nomination and china's factories and the pollution they cause. so far, so good and then i turned the paper to read below the fold. first there was a depressing story about how gang members are killing key witnesses before they can testify at trials. then another depressing story about how so many europeans are buying apartments in manhattan that i will never be able to afford one myself. they didn't actually mention me in the article, but i know how to read between the lines. and then i read the last story on the front page of the new york times. it seems, that while i was in my self induced media blackout, brittany spear's sixteen year old sister, jamie lynne, had gone and gotten herself pregnant. and this was on the front page of the new york times!
suddenly, i remembered why i stopped reading the papers and listening to the news. i don't care if brittany's sister got knocked up. i don't care that now, their mother, obviously not mother of the year, is going to have to give up writing her book on parenting that was due to be published next year. i don't care that jamie lynne was some kind of star on some kind of cable network. what i do care about is that the media is making me feel, by covering such stories in such depth, that i should care. and so i am going back into the void. i don't want to read anymore of this trash. but - i must confess that i will still do the sunday crossword puzzle, but only for medicinal purposes. i am told it will help ward off alzheimer's.