Aside from the fact that the nightly news is freakishly depressing and leaves you feeling like a hopeless deer in the headlights, it could be killing your ability to cope. With everything.
I love Brian Williams, he is adorable, well dressed and well mannered. But he is no longer welcome in my home. Neither are any of the other major network news anchors. They are all delivery vessels of evil doings, beheadings, bombings, hackings, murders, shootings, slaughterings, missing and dead children, floods, arctic vortexes, and ridiculous government doings. Twenty four minutes of pure horror topped off with a two-minute sniglet of a feel good piece of news. Yeah, that makes it all okay (sarcasm).
And it's all conveniently brought to us at dinner time, just a few short hours before we lay ourselves down to sleep. Sleep?! Fat chance of that.
I have been struggling with getting to sleep the past few years. Something I attributed to age. Upon closer analysis, I now believe it to be related to the terrors I subject my mind to just 2 hours before bedtime each evening. Enough!
While I admit to sporadic tom-foolery and occasional idiocy, I don't want to be a complete moron. I want to stay abreast of world affairs. I just don't want to be taken down by them by the daily bombardment of detailed and vivid news blasts. So, I subscribed to CNN, i24, and BBC breaking news posts. Whenever something in the world happens worth knowing, I receive a text message telling me about it. No pictures, no graphic footage, no newscaster going on about the carnage in living color. Just the facts. It's a tolerable way to receive the news that is hard to know. I call it news cheating.
If I'm inclined, I can always tune into CNN (otherwise known as Continually Negative News; the network that repeats the exact same news story every 30 minutes for three-day intervals). I rarely am.
I'd rather spend my evenings chatting it up with the people I love, talking on the phone with friends, reading a good book, listening to music or going out to a local haunt for a bite to eat.
Am I putting my head in the sand? You bet your ass I am. The world is a very scary place, and it's getting scarier by the day. If hiding from it from time to time helps me sleep better at night, I'm all about it. I have become a fan of temporary news respites, reality breaks and world crisis pauses.
I can't help but think that so much of the scary news sound bites the anchors deliver are for the sole purpose of getting us to tune in to their newscast. It's all about ratings and I've decided I'm not playing that game any more.
I hate that it is getting harder to remember that humanity is humane, that there is hope for the world, its people and our planet. I know that love is stronger than hate, but it's not stronger than guns, machetes and bombs. I think I share a global sadness and fear; a flickering doubt that things will get better.
So, at the end of each day I choose to turn to the tenderness of living. Kind words, the sharing of goodness, affection, laughter and friendship. Little or none of that can be found in the nightly news.
I was once owned by a cat named Figaro, aka Figgymeister, The Figgster, and Figgy. He was a huge 19 pound black and white puff ball; a stray that found his way into our home and hearts and graced us for 18 years. When he was scared he would run to a chair and put his head under it, completely convinced that no one could see his big body and scraggly tail sticking out in plain sight. Brilliant!