News… what news? I didn’t hear about any news

So how have things changed again?

So how have things changed again?

On days when big current events happen, my wife asks for my thoughts. (Bless her heart, she actually thinks I have intelligent things to say.) My inevitable response these last few months has been, “what are you talking about?” And I truly have no clue. I’ve lost touch with the immediate present, with what’s going on beyond my little world.

Life has slowed down so much in unemployment that entire news cycles, sometimes entire news days, pass me by. Huge stories – like the US Air plane landing on the Hudson or last Friday’s unemployment numbers – zoom beneath my radar. Eventually someone says something or sends along a link. And I remember that there’s a bigger world out there where stuff is actually happening – big, important, exciting, scary stuff. So I check the news.

I’m not a hermit shut-in who’s lost all connection with reality (yet). I do listen to various podcasts related to current events, generally a few days after their radio airings. I read the weekend New York Times and The New Yorker (because I’m a wanna-be East Coast liberal intellectual in training) as the week progresses. But in today’s super sped-up world, where news is instantaneous and never-ending, none of my news is breaking. It’s broken, with the big pieces picked up and glued together again. It’s common knowledge. My news cycle is days behind everyone else’s, and excludes all the minute-by-minute and hour-by-hour updates. I get the post-game highlights and commentary.

It wasn’t a conscious choice to lose touch, so much as a subconscious reaction born out of circumstances. When employed, the news divided up my day. My morning routine included a quick scan of the headlines over coffee. Switching projects or killing five minutes before a delayed meeting allowed for a glance at the markets. And many a lunch hour was spent reading election coverage on Salon. When something big happened in the news, word spread quickly. I’m no longer stuck at a desk 8-9 hours each weekday. My time is my own, unpaid though it is. If I need a break, I run an errand, get a snack or terrorize the cats. (Here, kitty kitty, let’s see if you can swim.)

I still care about the news; my tolerance is just much lower. I’m a news lightweight, some days even a teetotaler. It’s just all about the down economy, crashing stock markets, failing companies and rising unemployment numbers anyway. Extrapolating out, every story is also about my bleak job prospects. That’s really damn depressing. I know finding a job is and will continue to be difficult. I live it, so self-inflicted reminders throughout the day aren’t needed. And they don’t help. Ignoring the news is largely an act of self-preservation. If I really need to know something, someone will tell me. Otherwise, I’ll catch the highlights in a few days.

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3 Comments

  1. unemployed wrote:

    We have the OPPOSITE problem. I am so engrossed in current affairs, pop culture and celebrity gossip… while he attends to his job and has no time for anything else. The envy is eating me up;) The worst is when he complains about his job, and I feel like yelling

    “AT LEAST YOU HAVE A JOB TO BiTCH ABOUT!”

    Thanks again… keep em coming.

    Monday, March 9, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  2. Judi wrote:

    I have the opposite problem as well. I’ve been watching TOO much news, and I heavily suspect it has much to do with my choice to be utterly bitter ( at life in general) for the moment.

    I do not immerse myself in celebrity gossip, but I have MSNBC TV on all day. I think I should give it up because the news being reported lately is not good. I wouldn’t feel any guilt as far as being up-to-date with current events. As the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.”

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  3. Unemployed 2 wrote:

    To Judi..

    Yes I have that one as well, as for Fox news (sheshh I know) CNN etc. I watch it with the same intensity I do when a natural disaster threatens my otherwise peaceful existence, but then my mind

    goes

    goes

    goes

    and its on hyper active and next thing you know the picture in my head is that of me being a dirty pan handler trying to find a bridge in which to seek refuge in!

    Then who the heck is going to hire a homeless, dirty executive!

    How long will this go?

    So freakin tired of living right now…

    off to cantfindajob.com

    Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. JoblessandLess (Norm Elrod) on Monday, March 9, 2009 at 3:19 am

    New blog post: News… what news? I didn’t hear about any news http://tinyurl.com/c6sotf