Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Tuning Out

I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have been avoiding watching the evening news. I used to check the local newscast then wait around for the network news, usually ABC. But since the beginning of September I’ve been going to the Hallmark Channel for re-runs of M*A*S*H or checking out what’s on Turner Classic Movies. At the office after an hour of Morning Edition I switch to the on-line stream of CBC Radio Two, which provides classical (and sometimes not so classical) music throughout the day. They have hourly news reports, but they are all about what’s happening in Canada with only the occasional story about what’s going on with their neighbors to the south. (I especially love hearing the weather reports, and I like seeing the reaction when some unsuspecting visitor to the office hears the forecast high for the day to be 15 degrees – which is a very comfortable temperature on the Celsius scale – in Toronto.) But I’ve become overloaded on the news noise, especially with the election now at our throats.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not ignoring the news. I read a lot of newspapers, magazines, and websites of all varieties on-line, and I get my share of magazines at home; everything from U.S. News & World Report to Mother Jones to The New Yorker. A casual glance at this blog and the blogrolls will prove that I’m current with the news and trends. But I’ve gotten tired of the noise. The best thing about a blog is that it has no soundtrack.

I also find that I’m being a lot more picky about what I watch on TV now. I haven’t seen any of the new series, and I’ve only caught one or two episodes of my old favorites that are back, like Law & Order (in any of its iterations) and CSI (the original). Once The West Wing comes back I’ll catch that (okay, okay, and The O.C.; what can I say – everybody has their little guilty pleasure), but I’ve been doing a lot more reading, writing, and enjoying the silence. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Bobby Cramer have been very good company.