A Zany Life · Writers Write

News Break

The title implies a break from the news as opposed to a break for the news. Let me explain. Since childhood, I’ve been a news-junky. I was a first grader when President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember watching the horse-drawn caisson and the riderless horse, Black Jack, in the funeral procession down Pennsylvania Avenue. I was watching television when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. I was twelve when Nixon bombed Cambodia. I remember hearing about the covert operation after the fact on the news at the time.  

What does this mean? I inherited the news-junky gene from my C-Span obsessed father. I know more than most care to know about current events. I’m over-the-top with election coverage; who is lying; and who is offering balanced, but false reporting.

After a week that included the Presidential campaign, Hurricane Ike, the California commuter train crash, and the bottom falling out of America’s financial giants, I’m finding it necessary to get out of the loop. I must have been obsessing last night. We were trying to go to sleep when Bacon said, “You should take a week off from the news.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re too keyed up. Remember, how nice it was to go to Holy Ghost and hear nothing about the outside world for a week?”

I thought about it. “You mean like when we bought the Santa Fe newspaper, and there was no news in it–only announcements for gallery openings and green gardening articles?”

“Yep. You calmed down. You could talk about something else.”

“Maybe you’re right. I need a rest.”

As I nodded off to sleep, I heard him say, “But I’m still watching it on TV every night.”

“Yeah, right.”

So, starting today, I’m turning my back on Katie Couric and Brian Williams. Charlie Gibson will just have to get along without me, and I promise not pull up CNN or the NYT websites for at least a week. I’m thinking it will be like when Izzie slept with George on Grey’s Anatomy, and I boycotted it for a year. In the words of Dr. Addison Montgomery (formerly Montgomery-Shepherd), “Nothing’s Changed.”

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