T Nation

No News Is Good News

I have been going through a LOT of changes this year, some things just happenned, and others I have made myself.

Here’s one - About 2 months ago, I made a decision to stop reading the paper and watching the news. The only way I know when something happens is if Bill Mahr (sp?) or Jon Stewart makes fun of it, and I happen to catch their show.

What difference has it made? A lot. I have come to realize that a good portion of what passes for “news” is manufactured bullshit that doesn’t affect me anyway. I have no idea what is happening in Iraq / Iran / N Korea / bumfuck Egypt and don’t care. I never could affect it anyway. I now spend the time I used to spend watching the news reading or doing yoga, and I have to say there is a real reduction in stress levels.

I think I may have come full circle, back to my roots as a hippie. Anyone else in their 40s / 50s experiencing this?

[quote]hankr wrote:
I have been going through a LOT of changes this year, some things just happenned, and others I have made myself.

Here’s one - About 2 months ago, I made a decision to stop reading the paper and watching the news. The only way I know when something happens is if Bill Mahr (sp?) or Jon Stewart makes fun of it, and I happen to catch their show.

What difference has it made? A lot. I have come to realize that a good portion of what passes for “news” is manufactured bullshit that doesn’t affect me anyway. I have no idea what is happening in Iraq / Iran / N Korea / bumfuck Egypt and don’t care. I never could affect it anyway. I now spend the time I used to spend watching the news reading or doing yoga, and I have to say there is a real reduction in stress levels.

I think I may have come full circle, back to my roots as a hippie. Anyone else in their 40s / 50s experiencing this?[/quote]

I think the news is a bunch of high stress sounds bites. I don’t watch it. I read the local paper instead. The old saying, if it bleeds it leads says it all.

[quote]hankr wrote:
I have been going through a LOT of changes this year, some things just happenned, and others I have made myself.

Here’s one - About 2 months ago, I made a decision to stop reading the paper and watching the news. The only way I know when something happens is if Bill Mahr (sp?) or Jon Stewart makes fun of it, and I happen to catch their show.

What difference has it made? A lot. I have come to realize that a good portion of what passes for “news” is manufactured bullshit that doesn’t affect me anyway. I have no idea what is happening in Iraq / Iran / N Korea / bumfuck Egypt and don’t care. I never could affect it anyway. I now spend the time I used to spend watching the news reading or doing yoga, and I have to say there is a real reduction in stress levels.

I think I may have come full circle, back to my roots as a hippie. Anyone else in their 40s / 50s experiencing this?[/quote]

That’s pretty much been my philosophy and practice my entire life, and I am 33.

I think of the modern media machine like the sun in the movie Insomnia with Al Pacino and Robin Williams. No matter how much Pacino’s character tries to cover his windows, the sun still gets in.

Likewise, bypassing newspapers and TV news will keep out a good deal of the flood of information, but just turning on the radio in the car gets you a trickle, people you interact with talking about news events gets you a little more.

Add to that internet banner headlines, TV’s on at the gym, and the omnipresence of magazine and other print media headlines, and you realize that it is virtually impossible to be “out of the loop” if you live in any kind of remotely urban or suburban environment.

You don’t need to seek out the news, it finds you just fine by itself.

When I get up at 5:30 am, there’s either TV news or the History Channel (after I’ve made my breakfast). The show “History Channel Classroom” is on at 6am. They’re either doing a series on Rome, the Vikings or some other long, lost civilization. I choose that over news any day.

The long dead barbarians of old are much more interesting and much less stressful than the ones I see shooting and stabbing each other on TV every morning.

When you sit back and take stock, it is amazing how much of your time is spent thinking about and getting involved in other people’s lives. (Just take a look at most of the threads here!)

I try to avoid getting caught up in those things I can’t affect or that don’t directly affect me. I like to be informed about what goes on in the world, but I don’t let those concerns take over my life.

[quote]derek wrote:
When I get up at 5:30 am, there’s either TV news or the History Channel (after I’ve made my breakfast). The show “History Channel Classroom” is on at 6am. They’re either doing a series on Rome, the Vikings or some other long, lost civilization. I choose that over news any day.

The long dead barbarians of old are much more interesting and much less stressful than the ones I see shooting and stabbing each other on TV every morning. [/quote]

Word! Although if I catch History Channel in the Classroom, it is because I haven’t been to bed yet. My usual bedtime is around 3 a.m.

History Channel is always my first channel choice. History was my major at USF, so I get to look all cool and smart and stuff explaining stuff to my wife.

I’m in my thirties and I too cut way back on reading the newspaper and watching the news when I was in my late twenties.

A lot of the news is sensationalized, much of it slanted and there’s a marked lack of objectivity. I’m saying this as a person with a BA in Journalism and the daughter of a man who was misquoted in the news quite a bit to the point where he wouldn’t talk to them anymore. Knowing firsthand what the true story is and then seeing it in the news in a totally BS way just to sensationalize the story really makes you realize how misleading the media can be to the public.

The media dictates a lot of what the majority in the public believes, and to see how irresponsible they are when they sensationalize the facts to fit what will sell as “newsworthy” is a turn off.

I also feel that the media can be so disrespectful of some people. Good example is the rush to judgement about the death of Anna Nicole Smith’s son Daniel. How sad, she’s a grieving mom. Sure, she’s “fair game”, but they rushed to get the story, thereby likely causing her more pain. I feel this is irresponsible and cheesy. Sure, that’s commonly accepted media practice, but at the same time, it’s not necessarily right to hurt people just because they’re a “public figure”.

The media people who hurt members of the public, I believe there’s a special, fiery place in hell for them.

Sorry, I’m on my soapbox again.

This really bugs me also…
I pretty much go straight to the sport section now days. No one dies in the sport section. If you continually get beaten over the head with all the depression in this world it’s gonna have an adverse effect on you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly aware of what’s happening in the world (for example i continue to do alot of research on middle eastern history,religeon and lifestyle to understand why what is going on is going on)i just don’t need the in depth details and sensationalisation of all the horror in the world to scar my brain with. I really just don’t need to know every detail of every gang rape, murder, suicide bomb, animal cruelty, natural disaster,white collar rip off etc…
I better vacate the soapbox now…

I’m a newspaper junkie. I don’t watch TV news at all. I don’t listen to polical radio shows. But I do read a lot of op-ed and news on the internet and I get both my local paper and the Wallstreet Journal at home.

I get fired-up about some stuff and try to talk to my wife about it, but she generally blows me off…and tells me to relax (or that I’m crazy).

I got pretty worked up about stuff around the 2004 election, watching a lot of TV news then and racing out at 5:00 AM to grab the papers.

I don’t view it as stress. To me it’s fun and ‘food for thought’. I have my beliefs, sure. But, in the end, I can’t really control what’s in the papers. So I read it, think about it, and get on with my day and the things that I can control. Those are things that stress me out if I let them.

I try not to.

This borders on celebrating ignorance.

[quote]doogie wrote:
This borders on celebrating ignorance.[/quote]

Agreed. Isn’t this same stuff people hoot and hollar about GW Bush about when he says he doesn’t read the papers? He lacks ‘intellectual curiosity’, right? But this guy gets a pat on the back?

[quote]doogie wrote:
This borders on celebrating ignorance.[/quote]

So what? You’re ignornant yourself if you don’t pick up National Enquirer, and care about Bennifer or what-the-fuck.

That’s about how relevant I consider the corporate news propaganda outlet. Assholes can chant on war against this or that country all they like, for years on end, and you poor “informed” souls get to sit on the edge of your seats waiting for bombs to fall on the People’s Republic of Bennifer, even if they never do. Weapons of Mass Distraction… I’d rather live my own life.

And not get pre-empted by those informericals either, you know, the ones selling products produced by the media companies’ sister divisions.

Get real, be happy. Live your own life. Live with what you’ve got, not with what they want (from you).

[quote]doogie wrote:
This borders on celebrating ignorance.[/quote]

If ignorance means missing out on traffic conditions, weather reports, rapes, murders, crashes, political ads that don’t contain the whole truth or any, or slanted, then consider me ignorant.

When I want to know what’s going on in Iraq, North Korea etc., I’ll look it up online. When I want.

[quote]derek wrote:
doogie wrote:
This borders on celebrating ignorance.

If ignorance means missing out on traffic conditions, weather reports, rapes, murders, crashes, political ads that don’t contain the whole truth or any, or slanted, then consider me ignorant.

When I want to know what’s going on in Iraq, North Korea etc., I’ll look it up online. When I want.
[/quote]

That’s different than the original poster who doesn’t watch news or read newspapers and who gets his information from Jon Stewart.

There isn’t really anything noble about keeping yourself ignorant.

[quote]hankr wrote:
I have no idea what is happening in Iraq / Iran / N Korea / bumfuck Egypt and don’t care. I never could affect it anyway. I now spend the time I used to spend watching the news reading or doing yoga, and I have to say there is a real reduction in stress levels.[/quote]

Let me guess, you don’t vote either. I can see ignoring the news media. But don’t just stick your head in the sand. Give a fuck.

[quote]doogie wrote:
derek wrote:
doogie wrote:
This borders on celebrating ignorance.

If ignorance means missing out on traffic conditions, weather reports, rapes, murders, crashes, political ads that don’t contain the whole truth or any, or slanted, then consider me ignorant.

When I want to know what’s going on in Iraq, North Korea etc., I’ll look it up online. When I want.

That’s different than the original poster who doesn’t watch news or read newspapers and who gets his information from Jon Stewart.

There isn’t really anything noble about keeping yourself ignorant.[/quote]

Getting news from John Stewart is pathetic.

[quote]Hack Wilson wrote:
I’m a newspaper junkie. I don’t watch TV news at all. I don’t listen to polical radio shows. But I do read a lot of op-ed and news on the internet and I get both my local paper and the Wallstreet Journal at home.

I get fired-up about some stuff and try to talk to my wife about it, but she generally blows me off…and tells me to relax (or that I’m crazy).

I got pretty worked up about stuff around the 2004 election, watching a lot of TV news then and racing out at 5:00 AM to grab the papers.

I don’t view it as stress. To me it’s fun and ‘food for thought’. I have my beliefs, sure. But, in the end, I can’t really control what’s in the papers. So I read it, think about it, and get on with my day and the things that I can control. Those are things that stress me out if I let them.

I try not to.[/quote]

I’m the same way.

And yes, it is almost celevrating ignorance. TV news is garbage, but people who don’t pay any attention to politics and world affairs are, in my humble opinion, useless.

If the mainstream stuff drives you crazy, I’d suggest you look to independent media sources.

For print media:
http://www.indymedia.org/en/index.shtml

And for radio/TV:

[quote]doogie wrote:
This borders on celebrating ignorance.[/quote]

I have a nice little story about celebrating ignorance.

I’m at a Halloween party this weekend, and a female friend of mine accidentally spilled beer on me. I always break her balls about women being second class citizens and what not, so I loudly said something about how we should end women’s suffrage.

Well, all the girls at the shindig that heard me say this began…agreeing with me! Why? Because they had no idea what women’s suffrage is (until this girl explained it to them).

There’s nothing like having girls agree with you when you say they shouldn’t be allowed to vote…

keep not reading the newspaper. Because we’ll all keep voting in the people that run your life, and you’ll have nothing to say about it.

I’m a news-aholic. At least three newspapers each day, including the local Yale rag. I have C-SPAN running on TV and CNN.com on the laptop. It’s an addiction, I tell you!

Lately the local and national campaigns have been extremely entertaining. We are voting next Tuesday. This is a chance to change things. If so many people are ignorant of what is going on in the world, past and present, we are doomed to repeat our stupid mistakes over and over again.