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.
Am I absolved or condemned?
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