I go through cycles. I don’t engage, and then, slowly, I start to pay attention to the news and gossip at the same time. They hit pretty much the same buttons on my emotional jukebox: fear, anguish, Schadenfreude.
For me, news and gossip are almost the same. I realized it when I was trying to absorb everything about the 2008 election. I consume them the same way. They hit me the same way. I use the information the same way, as currency in conversation with other people. People say that you can make a positive difference with the news. Honestly, it’s not like I do that much to alleviate the damage done by the G20 or Justin Bieber. I just sop up the Real News Network podcasts while I knit and read recaps of reality shows on Gawker. If you’ve never read Richard Lawson reweaving the stories of the housewives of Bravo, I strongly recommend him. He does so through the sieve of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is marvelous. Birth of a new genre.
But it’s getting to be too much. I don’t do well with moderation.
The news is so bleak, on all fronts. I don’t want to hear about the brutality right now. I want something easier to stomach. I want a little slice of hope. It’s just too painful. I’m already bruised enough in my life. I keep seeking out more and more information, hoping to find the little kernel that will make everything okay. And it’s not there.
It’s not more information I need. It’s more humanity. It’s more love. It’s being more productive, and clinging more to the things that make me happy, not tying myself to the things that bring me down. It’s time for a detox.
Yes, there is suffering in the world. Great suffering. But I only take actions against the suffering in my world. I’m just rubbernecking with other people’s suffering. Time to detach. Time for more meditation, reflection–time for some fucking reading, for Criminey’s sake.
Kittens. Kittens are good. Good for what ails you.