Monday, November 12, 2012

Suffering From Withdrawal

Day three of my HYPER-NEWS blackout. I’m staying “informed” only through the Associated Press website, the business news section of the Wall Street Journal, and the top of the hour news broadcasts on radio. A few observations.

The AP website is about as boring a thing as I have ever encountered on the internet. No screaming, misleading headlines, no flashing ads for mortgage refinancing floating across the screen, no woman with disturbingly large breasts imploring me to try a testosterone boosting cream. Just long detailed articles chronicling the news of the day, with not very many pictures. It’s like an online version of C-Span. Z-zzzzz. Meanwhile, at this very minute Rachel Maddow is probably leading off her show with shocking news of secret Republican plans to outlaw oral sex in San Francisco…and I’m missing it. Right now, Bill O’Reilly is escorting some pin-headed liberal out of the “No-Spin Zone”, Glen Beck is reporting on skyrocketing gun sales and the bourgeoning hybrid seed business. I bet The New York Times is running the latest Paul Krugman piece about his man-crush on Nate Silver. But all I’ve got this morning is a long boring story about the national security intricacies of the David Petraeus resignation.

The one thing I’ve noticed over the past three days is just how much time I spend consuming news. By eliminating the 13 sources that make up this boycott I have freed up lots of time during my day. The question becomes, what to do to fill the hours? I could take up a hobby, learn a foreign language, devote more time and energy towards making more money. I could buy an old pick up truck and rebuild the engine, after I took a class to learn how the internal combustion engine works. The possibilities are endless.

The real test of this two week Scream-News moratorium will come if and when there is a real crisis. Say, Israel’s air force decides to take out Iran’s nuclear reactors, or Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are both killed in a meth lab explosion in the Cannon office building. That’s when I’m really going to miss Rush Limbaugh’s instant analysis, and the unhinged commentary of the Daily Kos.

For now, I soldier on.