For someone who spends the bulk of his time traveling, and who has been a news junkie since becoming part of the broadcast industry at the age of 20, SiriusXM has been a blessing. Simulcasting the cable news networks allows me to keep up with the latest news, become engaged, (to a certain point), with the varying levels of conversation, and have a place to turn to when my phone alerts me to something that is truly important.
Remember, you’re dealing here with someone who abhors the phrase “BREAKING NEWS”, especially when certain networks call a story by that moniker even though it happened four hours hence. Where once we had “bulletins” and “alerts”, we now have weak-lipped marketing catch phrases that most of the time mean absolutely nothing.
However, all things must come to an end.
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s Oval Office speech, I finally came to a decision that I believe is perfect for me, and might be exactly the beginning of a recuperation moment for smart and thoughtful people in America.
After listening to the post-event screeching which consisted of inane, insipid, repetitive, nonsensical carping and whining bovine excrement being spewed from both sides, not to mention the head shaking lies being shoveled with regularity, I removed the three American news channels that purportedly carried important and vital information.
FOX, CNN and MSNBC. All removed from my SiriusXM presets. The only news station I have readily available now is the BBC.
In place, of what were once standard stops for keeping in touch with the world, I now have 60’s music, the Tom Petty station, and a channel called “The Groove”, playing soul classics from the 60’s and 70’s.
I no longer feel the need to subject myself and my intelligence to the rampant bilge being shoveled non-stop. I can honestly say listening to it all has made me angrier, more sullen, and a lot less tolerant. But while these alleged news channels took the brunt of my call, they weren’t the only thing responsible for taking a gargantuan step back from my every day routine.
Part of this decision was also reading the insulting lack of intelligent responses permeating social media in the 24 hours following what turned out to be nothing more than a campaign fund raising event, as witnessed by the web site pitch that was being made before and after the speech.
Interesting how the American media missed this connection entirely, as it was first noted by overseas publications.
That wasn’t a call for humanitarian action. This was a virtual shakedown.
Whether we admit it or not, we are affected every second of every day by the events around us. Emotionally, physically, intellectually. It would be easy to say America is becoming dumber every day, but it’s also fair to say there are people waking up to the criminality and destructive forces around us, if even so very little by little.
The satellite simulcasts were nothing more than yelling competitions, so-called “experts” seeking to be heard above the varying din. No difference between Left or Right. Both were equally as infantile and arrogant. This wasn’t conversation. It was an audio hammer to the head.
Good thing I had my aging yet trusty IPod at the ready, and immediately dialed up Queen’s soaring live version of “Hammer To Fall” for perspective and relief. As usual, the music of my era nailed what’s happening today.
“What the hell we fighting for?
Ah, just surrender and it won’t hurt at all
You just got time to say your prayers
Eh, while you’re waiting for the hammer to hammer to fall”
For me, the hammer has most definitely fallen.
So, I’m going back to newspapers and their websites. The Boston Globe, Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, a number of others. I’m going to re-up my subscriptions and read my news instead of relying on these mentally challenged panel shows. Legitimate reading website such as Politico, NBC News, CBS News, the CBC and others. Reading news coverage instead of jumping to the videos, being verbally assaulted by the mind-numbing bumble and the textual scrum to reach as low as humanly possible on the intellectual scale.
But I will admit to still seeking out the great stories being put on video by the legitimate news sources. I won’t go into detail or list them, as they will be evident to those not seeking agendas. Brilliant stories and reporting are being produced every day by excellent reporters, editors, producers and writers.
I’ll find them instead of the noise.
More podcasts, as well. I’m going to spend more time producing mine and listening to others. Recommendations are being accepted.
Spending so much time in my car, I won’t have the immediate information I have always craved. That’s OK. A little less immediacy is a good thing. Perhaps for us all.
We spend so much time seeking to know everything in an instant and then react a nanosecond later, we have become less about seeking solutions to just being part of the problem.
When I made the decision, I was stopped for gas. Blew out the news stations. Inserted the music channels instead.
Suddenly, instead of political venting, I was bouncing in the seat and had a smile on my face. Lady in the car next to me shook her head and kept talking on her cell.
That’s a battle for ANOTHER day.