Thursday, August 27, 2009

Luscious Luddite Lassitude

Ah, the joys of a news blackout. . . .

Many a summer I indulged in a self-imposed blackout of any news while vacationing on Brantingham Lake, in New York, in the Adirondacks. For me it cooled the fever of obsessive-compulsive attention to world events, the kind of fever that feeds the illusion that says, "This level of attention actually influences the course of events," which is not only a fallacy and nonsense but hubris of the silliest sort. Anyway, the blackout, which got to be a bit of a family-tolerated game (averting my eyes from newsstand headlines when in Lowville, or almost clapping my ears to avoid hearing anything about the baseball strike of '94 [was it '94?] on the radio in a store in Old Forge), did seem to recharge my batteries -- but not cure the obsession.

However, the tragedy of a so-called news blackout is that it is a joy, a respite, a sane retreat, a Luddite pleasure, only for news junkies.

When the vast majority of the population delights in willful ignorance or obtuse one-sidedness -- in other words when a news blackout is the daily norm -- there is no joy in Muddville or Topeka or Pittsburgh or Skaneateles or Solvay or Encino or Hibbing or Bemidji or Greenwich or Syracuse or Pittsburg or Manhattan or Springfield or Darien or Saint Louis or Collegeville or Stamford or Warner Robins or Scranton or Wilkes-Barre or Portland or Los Gatos or San Francisco or Crawford or Honolulu or Salem or Erie or Conklin or Santa Barbara or Albany or Otisco or Kalamazoo or Flint or New Canaan or Bismarck or Dickinson or Mott or Phoenix or Santa Fe or Del Rio or Bridgeport or Kirkville or Kirkwood.

"All the news that's fit to miss."

9 comments:

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Anonymous said...

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