Last week I went on a little vacation with some family who I don’t see as often as I’d like. Where we went on the little trip isn’t as important as the oldies and pop music that we listened to on the long drive. Personally, I can’t stand the newer music that constantly plays over those top 20 channels and see it as more of a dumbed down version of reality but I have to admit some of it is pretty catchy. As the days went by, so did the music but something was missing from my regular listening regiment; this wasn’t just a vacation from home, it was a vacation from politics. It was an amazing experience that once you turn off the television and news radio how pleasant the world becomes.
Spending time with family was always a painful and aggravating experience in my past. They always seem ask you all of those questions about work and offer pointless advice which you pretend to listen to. Seriously, how many people want to talk about work when they’re not there? I know I don’t. Luckily for me, this time was more like spending time with friends and away from the everyday world I’ve become so accustomed too.
The trip was kind of an experiment about how the world would look after I took one or two things (television and talk radio) out of my life. It didn’t take long before the voices of the talking heads faded from my mind and I began to enjoy and appreciate the inherent beauty of the world. Even though the things I did literally cost pennies, there were dozens of other families doing the exact same thing. The people, even though they didn’t know each other, got along and even took care of each other which is a far cry from what we’re lead to believe on the evening news.
Since this was just a vacation, only lasting for a week, until I walked into the door of my house and decided to face the news, Fox News that is. Bill O’Reilly was on defending his position he took supporting gun confiscations of law abiding citizens the night before. Thoroughly disgusted, I changed the channel to the next news channel on my favorites list, MSNBC, where Rachael Maddow was making some snarky comments about the CPAC conference. The night went on as I checked up on what happened in the world while I was away. It didn’t take long before was linked to a video clip of Glenn Beck flamboyantly comparing himself to Thomas Paine, since he was the only person spreading the truth. Sadly my vacation was abruptly over as soon as I turned on the television.
As I watched the most popular talking heads I couldn’t escape the feeling that my brain cells were slowly withering away. All of the news shows were completely inane, defied logic and common sense; surely no one could believe what they saw on them. Could people really be so out of touch with their own inherent sense of the world around them to take the evening news seriously? There wasn’t a single iota of intelligent debate, thought provoking content or artistic merit however there was plenty of false “outrage.”
I think it’s time for the people that read this to take a little vacation. Since everyone is having a hard time with money now days it doesn’t have to be a vacation from work or to some far off place; the vacation I’m talking about is away from television and talk radio. The best part about this vacation is that it’s completely free. Here’s how to do it: turn off the TV, stay offline unless it’s to find something relevant to what you’ll be doing that day and go outside. It really is as simple as getting up and talking to a neighbor, hiking or going to a park. Just make sure when you do go out that you do something that you normally wouldn’t do and see people who you normally wouldn’t see.
As we all know vacations can’t last forever so once your week is over with; turn on your TV, turn on your radio then watch and listen. It won’t take long before you see how pathetic the programming really is. Now I’m not telling you to stop following news and politics, what I’m telling you to do is to observe the world around you and then examine the sources of your information. If what you watch makes sense by all means keep watching but if it doesn’t find a new source of news. If you’re reading this, you have the internet and there’s no excuse not to find news that makes you think. Put on the glasses, what do you have to lose?