Catching up on the News
I’ve been back for two weeks now and finally recovered from jet lag. Yeah, I know that’s a poor excuse but I always say that a poor excuse is better than none. Our first instindt was to find out what might have happened while we were AWOL. On this trip we never bothered to turn on the TV and the only news from home was whatever my wife saw on her iPod. It was delightful to be blissfully ignorant of whatever agendas the media were pushing while we were gone. So far as we can see nothing improved while we weren’t looking but then nothing was improving when we were. The world is still going to hell in a hand basket. But you would never know it listening to the news.
I’ve given up on the media. Nobody out there seems to remember that journalism is supposed to inform and not to indoctrinate. We sought refuge with the Fox team for a time but after the last election I realized that there is no hope that Republicans will stand on principle and Democrats will do no harm and no journalists exist that are willing to tell them that they are all lying blaggards so I turned to the Food Network and HLN neither or which is concerned about anything important. It makes our evenings much more placid.
For a long time I subscribed to the Sacramento Bee in spite of its mindless support of the dysfunctional government in California. My rationalization was that they covered local news and would keep me informed about important issues like moving the basketball team to Seattle. I figured it was a relatively small expenditure and some of the features in the Sunday paper were actually useful but it turns out that the Bee is also dysfunctional. They can’t even collect from subscribers.
I have been organizing my services and, where possible, paying by credit card to receive airline miles to mitigate our travel costs. I attempted at least three times to set up my payment for the Bee on automatic charging to a credit card but apparently the Sacramento Bee is unable to handle something so complex. I naively believed each time I mailed the form that this time would be fine. Not true.
One day the paper stopped delivery and the next I received a letter from a collection agency wanting to collect for all the papers I hadn’t paid for. This was back before we left for Rome and now it is hard for me to remember why I thought the newspaper was important. We moved on.
So much has changed since I used to look forward to the morning and evening edition of the paper when I was a kid. Local news, national news, international news, comics and ads- lots of ads. You could spend the entire morning going through each thick issue. Even better, you believed that the information it contained was true and intended to inform and not to indoctrinate. Those were the days.
It took a long time but I finally weaned myself off the daily newspaper. Does anyone still read the newspaper? Are there still newspaper readers out there? If you still subscribe – or regularly read a local newspaper, I’d love to know why.