Done Watching the News

It began in the winter of 1998. I was living in Chicago with m older brother for the last two months while working for the Home and Garden Network. Every evening I would come home to find the news on.

There was always a passing interest in the news, international not local, growing up. Local news in Detroit stays true to the old adage “if it bleeds, it leads.” Well, there is a lot of bleeding here.

International coverage was more complex than the shouting city council members who get picketed monthly. International coverage went to locations that were covered in history class. In fact the ore you had paid attention in school, the better understanding one would have of how and why situations had peculated to what they now are. My slow build to addiction had begun.

Now I can say with a sense of certainty that it was the Presidential Election for 2000 that got me really hooked. I did not sleep more than a few minutes that night. When I got to work the day was spent in front of the online news channels looking for an edge of insight and opinion I had not heard yet.

When the tragic events of September in 2001 occurred I was on a runway in Detroit. Mom was the person I called first knowing she had the same addiction and would be in front of the television. On my drive home I found that Howard Stern had the best coverage making me a faithful fan to this day. It was an easy call to make when I got home. I would not be coming in to work that day, maybe the next.

As news happens there are three channels that I tend to turn to. During this anniversary of Katrina and the week that followed I have been watching those three channels plus others. It could be that I have too much time on my hands these days. It could be the cynical and divisive nature of out current culture. It could be a lot of things, but I can not stand watching any more news. No channel, no anchor, no opinion poll lasts more than five minutes with me.

But these are the lessons learned – and you are welcome to hate me for saying these things if you want.

First “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Davy Crockett said it first, Barry Gold Water said it at the convention, and Gerald Ford gets credited with saying it most often.

Second – I want the donations I made to the Red Cross back, not because they were used for something other than what I wrote on the check, but if so many people would rather say how much I hate them than “thank you”… I’ll just take the money back. Thanks. Side note, when they say the evacuation is mandatory, you should go.

Third – Magic bullets are not so magical (unless you consider physics a dark art), the smart people who launch rockets are not the best at keeping records (like film footage of landing on the moon), and diesel fuel or bio-diesel fuel emissions are both worse for the environment than gasoline emissions. I know, I know, the Europeans think its cool but its not. The diesel engine is just more efficient than the traditional combustion engine.

So there, I got it off my chest, call me an ass for saying it. I’ll be watching more cartoons and less serious programming until The Office and Earl come back. Spoiler – Pam leaves her fiancé but is not ready to get together with Jim yet. Okay, now every single person I know should be pissed at me on some level.
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