Bless me, Reader, for I have sinned.  It has been four weeks since I listened to the radio, read a paper or watched the tv news.  I have stepped inside the ‘cone of silence’ and turned away from current affairs.

I like to listen.  I do it when I draw, when I drive, when I cook, any time.  My listening habit has often involved radio.  News updates, talk-back, current affairs programmes – daily, hourly, minute-by-minute; I knew what was going down.

But then the troubles began.  Our internet service went down the drain.  In response to my desktop computer being unusable much of the time, I bought an i-phone to access the internet with.  My transgressions started.

I discovered – pause – PODCASTS.  The temptation was too much: New Yorker Fiction, New Yorker Out Loud, BBC World Book Club, This American Life, BBC Short Cuts, BBC Woman’s Hour – I could go on.  How could soundbites of whining politicians repeated ad nauseam compete with intellectual and insightful art-related broadcasts?  More to the point, why should I invite them to?

I hear you say, “You can listen to podcasts and still find time for the news”.  But no.  Now that I have unplugged myself from daily doses of aural anxiety, I find I don’t have the stomach for them.  Out, damn spot!

Surely this state of ignorance on my part cannot last.  Like water through a rock-face, a trickle of news will find its way back in.  Until it does, it feels like detoxification. NOT to know the news is a delicious pleasure; therefore, it MUST be a sin.

Mea culpa

Mea culpa

Mea culpa

Am I absolved or condemned?

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
This entry was posted in personal history, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Confession

  1. You sound tormented by guilt! I do think a break from the relentless news cycle is a good thing. I like to be aware of world (and local) events, but they can be frustrating, irritating and depressing – and worse, repetitive! Immersing yourself in the world of ideas can only be a good thing. It was serendipity that you were pushed in this direction, and now you have found a new world! Immerse yourself, enjoy and out with the guilt!

    • Hi Anna, is it our moral duty to be up to date with current affairs I wonder? I feel like it is – but I don’t suppose it is a bad thing to have a break now and then. One thing I feel is that the news is presented so badly these days – different channels clamouring for our attention. And it is like the news has to be as bad as possible so that we will bother to look. It all seems like part of the dysfunction of our time. I’m sure the news used to be presented in a more dignified way in the past, less like the entertainment it feels it has to be today.

      • The whole emphasis on the presentation of news has changed undoubtedly. In theory we are better informed with so much variety, but there is so little depth to it that we are left reeling or worse, desensitised. I find I get plenty of information from radio news (just the ABC I’m afraid!) so I skim the newspapers. There is more to learn about life from the programs you mention, and my beloved Radio National.

      • No depth at all, Anna. Agree with all you say. I figure if something really important happens, somebody is bound to tell me.

  2. How I would love to be cut off from the world for a few weeks, no cellphone, no pc, no tv, no radio and no newspapers, just my drawing and painting stuff an a high heap of books…… bliss !!!

    • Gwennie, yes, that is kind of what I am doing. Though I am choosing to stay in touch with the parts of the world that I want to stay in touch with – and (temporarily at least) disregarding the rest.

      • I think we all need that once in a while we get sooooo many information these days about everything, thats why some people can’t cope anymore, it is just too much !!!
        Good on you !

  3. I have also taken myself off the endless news cycle at times, I found talking books and a series called the Great Courses, which are courses on a vast array of subjects by top university lecturers. I have immersed myself in history courses most of this year. I now get my news from the ABC on line app, reading the news means I can skim through and spend time on what I want to read and I always like the ABC coverage. Karen

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