Do you still “watch the news”?



Here’s one man who does not, and why.

Via Rhonda

Give Up Watching the News

Me? I never did “watch the (TV) news.” Didn’t watch TV ever, actually. Something about its vibration has always been anathema to my spirit. Even as a kid, I could hardly bear to be in the same room, or even on the same floor, when the television was on.

But I did scan through headlines in the daily paper. Endlessly, from the time I learned to read. To see if the world was going to end that day. And if it wasn’t, then I could go outside and “play” or rather, pretend to play, because it’s really never been possible for me to just BE HERE NOW without the “here” encompassing an extended field, this entire one-minute-to-midnight, nuclearized globe.

Nor has it been possible for me to BE HERE NOW without the “now” expanding — to infinity.

In my 40s and 50s and 60s, I “watched the news” in the form of the New York Times. Jeff and I got it daily, thanks to a many-year gift subscription from his father. I was grateful that the paper didn’t arrive at our yurt in Jackson Hole Wyoming

Yurt until the news was already a few days old, which, of course, is an eternity in the snap crackle pop of digitized culture’s continuously frissoning blather.

Since the “news” was already “old,” I could read it without the usual gasps of horror, relief, or frantic anticipation.

Even after we moved here to Bloomington and Jeff died, and the NYT was delivered on the very morning it was printed, I was still hooked to this voluminous print media, and even more so, because it was once again, “current.”

Then Jeff’s Dad died, and with him, my subscription. I switched to the internet, discovered all sorts of ways of looking at “the news,” parsed by all sorts of brilliant, or disgusting, or obsessive minds. WOW! Within a few months I found myself starting this blog. That was over four years ago.

The only time I’ve really been “without” the now much differentiated/kaleidoscoped internet “news” (which yes, is usually the olds, in the sense that things come and go the same way over and over again, and all with their cycling of fear and dread, horror and brief relief) since then was just over two years ago, when I was in Thailand and India for two months. I didn’t miss it a bit!

I do realize that it’s a “fix” this daily dose of mine. But I try to educate my perceptions and intuition to be able to ignore or see through most of what I set myself up to come across, and parse the rest, putting together pieces of (and analyses of, and commentaries on) “the news” that interest me and throwing them in unusual lights.

The various contradictory stories and analyses of “the news” also force me to open my mind into multidimensionality. Otherwise, how can I imagine how any of it can co-exist? I’ve just about come to the conclusion that 1) IT’S ALL REAL, and, as husband Jeff used to say, “Just remember Ann, 2) WE’RE MAKING IT ALL UP!” BOTH.

Meanwhile, yes, I’m also right here, right now, grounding and centering my 3D body’s tiny portion of earth in Bloomington Indiana, working with the land, its people, and my own unruly unconscious habits that keep me bound, in one way or another, to “the news.”

Yes. No matter how much I try to think I’ve kicked that habit, I have not. What I have done, is learned how to use “the news” as a foil for awareness, always noticing, for example, when I move into fear or alarm, when I feel relief, and why, etc. What draws my curiosity is most important, and I keep on going there, because, after all, what are we human creatures, if not curious about the whole world, both the one at hand we can see and touch and feel and the bigger one “out there” that we co-inhabit in our collective imagination? Such a feast!

P.S. The above piece also put me on to a remarkable website that I subscribed to immediately, loving its title, first:


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2 Responses to Do you still “watch the news”?

  1. Bill Chisholm says:

    There is something about the television that is disturbing.. I really don’t like to be around them much and haven’t really watched much for years and don’t have access now. I was a news junkie, most written and some internet.. I’ve trimmed that back to a few internet sources, but mostly I peruse the headlines to get a sense of what is going on. A friend of mine and I regret I don’t know more about the source of this statement… it is attributed I believe to a Native American spiritual leader… regard the new “Know only enough to activate your prayers”… I know people that get bogged down by ingesting too much news content. Even in the days when I was more of a news junkie.. I balanced the bad off with plenty of creative and spiritual work of my own.

    On related note… I often tell people the most embarrassing aspect of my life is my degree in business administration.. I say that in part because of the linear economic model we studied, but equally because the marketing classes are courses in psychological warfare.. they know how to sell folks things they don’t need or want and the business community isn’t the sole proprietors of this knowledge.

    Back in the day after smoking a little herb.. I was listening to Nixon making a speech justifying the bombing of Hanoi. Thanks to the herb, I was listening not just to the words, but the structure of the speech and how he used those words, we, the people, like Pavlov’s dogs had been conditioned to react. Those knee jerk words that get us to go along because the authorities tell us it is the right thing to do. I was fascinated… some six months later, sans the herb, I was home having dinner with my folks. Nixon was on again giving his rationale and I found my head nodding in agreement, until I heard my dad say… “That’s right”.. it woke me up and I argued against Nixon’s claims. One has to be very careful what they take in on all levels.

    If you got that noise, be it the TV or the radio… it is coming at you. Again a TV story… some friends and I had a little communal farm. We sometimes had TV, sometimes not. We weren’t into it much, but this one time, eight years after I had become a vegetarian, I came home from a hard days manual labor, flipped on the TV and fell into the pillow chair. Two hours later after being “noised at”, I crawled off to bed. The next day out working I found myself singing the Kentucky Fried Chicken song… WHERE THE HELL did that come from?… those two hours of mindless TV watching.

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