Friday, March 18, 2011

Avoiding Reality

I never was interested. Even to this day, I’m blissfully unaware. CNN? No thanks. CNBC? Blah. Fox News? You must be joking.

As a child, I spent summer days at my grandparents. One of my duties was to retrieve the paper from the drive on Thursdays. The paper only came on Thursdays and Saturdays. Hey, it was a small town – not much to report. At lunch-time, my grandfather would get the paper first. My grandmother would read it next, and then my sister who is only a couple of years older than me would read it cover to cover. Me? I might read Peanuts (the only cartoon in the Thursday edition) or check what was playing at the local movie-house (Yes, movie. This was the days before mass-cinemas). I might quickly check out the black-and-white photos to see if any of my friends were lucky enough to capture the town spotlight. Most Thursdays, I did not bother at all. Building forts with hay bales in the barn loft was much more fun.

As an adult, I moved to Orlando for a year or so. My sister would write me (this was the days before e-mails or texts). In her letters, she would send clippings from the hometown newspaper. I would laugh a bit. She was trying to keep me abreast on happenings back home. I just wanted the news she sent of family and friends, not the current events.

I once shared an apartment with a man who was fascinated with news stories. CNN played constantly in the living room. I kept my headphones on most of the time, read in my bedroom, or took the dog for extended walks. I discovered lots of cool music, caught up on some classic lit, and lost quite a bit of weight. Turned out that the news really was good for me.

A few years ago, a friend shared with me a story that certified what I had known since my childhood. People who do not keep up with the news live longer, happier lives. Call me unaware. At least you can call me that for many years to come.

(Writer's note:  I realize that I should have referred to MSNBC instead of CNBC - that should illustrate how out of it I am.  Also, I do read the Onion, but I think that hardly qualifies as "news.")

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