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Following my own advice in late 2019, I turned off the evening news. My 6:30 date with:
… was no longer my go to end of day activity. And suddenly my workdays were lighter, the sun shone brighter in the afternoons, and my evenings were free of stress.
What a relief.
And then boredom set in.
But the boredom didn’t last. It couldn’t. Events caught up with me no matter how far I strayed from the TV and social media. I tried to hide, and hard, but life in general, and my friends and co-workers specifically, would intrude on my escape from reality with questions about various day-to-day events. My friends would ask:
“Did you see…”
“Do you know that…”
“Have you been following…”
And even though I didn’t see, didn’t know, and hadn’t been following (and didn’t care one whit about any of it (Kim Kardashian did what?
Monica Lewinsky said what?
Ted Cruz is vacationing in Mexico?)...
... but due to those constant idle, friendly, questioners I was forced to pay attention to what was going down.
For a few blissful weeks, for almost two months, I was free of it all and not perpetually wound up tight like a rubber band ball.
But soon I was “one” with the tense, distraught, uptight, masses, again.
Events caught up with me.
The incessant drumbeat of time marching on was impossible not to hear any longer. And oh the events resonating in that drumbeat: the start of a global pandemic, the rush for a cure, for a vaccine for sure, to no avail at first, and CRISIS, a societal meltdown (economic, political, and mental), a presidential election, the “Big Lie”, insurrection, a second Trump impeachment, a second Trump acquittal, and now, one year later, societal stasis as it all, all of it, spins round and round in a boiling stew pot where the ingredients are only half cooked even as the pot boils, and boils, and boils and no one gets to eat, ever.
Life was way easier for me in late 2019 before Covid came to us from Wuhan, China (or wherever)...
... and the Republican Party, and Donald Trump attempted to destroy our democratic way of life. The world was almost serene back then in 2019 as I kept the TV off, and avoided all social media. But the protocols for a safe life changed daily as Covid overwhelmed, and to be safe I had to be aware of all, and so the TV news was watched again.
And there was the 2020 presidential campaign to be followed…
And there were images of The Donald at political rallies without a mask, and stories of Hunter Biden’s laptop, to worry about as well as TV press coverage of The Donald at Covid briefings...
... preaching treatments for the health of the nation – The Donald preaching exposure to UV lights, and imbibing bleach, as cures.
Clorox Cocktails as a cure…
It got worse and worse in late 2020 once it was apparent that The Donald was resoundingly defeated in his quest for a second term and that his defeat was not about to be overturned by the legislature or the judiciary. It was then that The Donald’s incessantly and vociferously expressed lying about his 2020 election loss became virulent and his nefarious, anti-American activities to stay in power increased.
There were his lackeys all about doing his evil bidding at all sorts of important venues, like the state courts and state legislatures (failures one and all, but TV newsworthy (UGH!), nonetheless). And of course there was Rudy Giuliani, the makeup adorned (leaky), legendary, “America’s Mayor” from 2001 and currently empowered Trump legal clown, performing at landscaping venues...
... just as Trump’s other legal wizard, Sidney Powell, played the fool, or the court jester, you pick, in other environs. I shook my head in disbelief often as all of that was reported, and often.
I shook my head hard.
Then came January 6th, 2021.
I was out and about that day on errands and all was normal. There was no break in the pattern of daily life for me as all was routine at the local market, the drug store, and the gas station, as I went in and out. But just as I arrived home, at around 3 p.m. a friend texted:
“So what do you think about what’s going on today?”
I texted back:
And he replied:
And he texted back a final:
“Turn on the TV.”
And so it began.
And now I can’t stop watching the evening news.
I can’t turn it off.
So now I’m not bored.
Now I’m afraid.
The Presence of Fear…
But I am bored no longer.