I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of political news, of entertainment news, of local news, of national news, of bad news. And most of it, of course, is bad.
Most of it leaves me feeling sad, angry, disgusted, and helpless. I’m tired of reading about the government shutdown, of watching and hearing people complain about what is and what isn’t. Did somebody forget to tell me that complaining is the new doing? Because apparently, these days nothing is more productive than griping and moaning.
I’m tired of Miley Cyrus’s butt plastered all over my computer screen. I’m tired of news that isn’t news, of glorification that is unwarranted and counter-productive. Think not about what you’re saying, producers and consumers, writers and readers, but about what you’re doing. The words may condemn, but the publicity always condones. Sometimes the loudest statement is silence.
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes, “I am sure that I never read any memorable news in the newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned…we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad of instances and applications? To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip.”
Perhaps I’m just a glutton for productivity. Perhaps I’m too critical of “frills,” too obsessed with efficiency. Or perhaps the fact that gossip does nothing except refuel the gossiped and validate the gossiper is something worth noting.
Did I mention I’m tired of the news?