Charlie Sheen has HIV. Now there’s a news flash. And he’s been paying off all sorts of bimbos – I mean the women he has sex with – to keep quiet about it for years. But wait, there’s more. Ex-wife Denise Richards knew all along! OMG, no way!

On a separate note, Jennifer Lawrence tells Vogue that the Republican Party “doesn’t support women’s basic rights.” Wonder what her news sources are.

Meanwhile, Nevada and New York have declared that fantasy football is gambling. Really? Wait. Really?

And Anonymous, the hackers that helped bring us the Arab Spring and Occupy movement, has declared war on ISIS. While the terrorists wreak global havoc, Anon will hack their Twitter accounts. Well, there you go. World War III avoided.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me but I’m finding it hard to get worked up about the news these days. It’s just a data dump of trite nonsense. And there’s so much of it. Yahoo’s like this enormous landfill full of other people’s garbage. Sure, you never know what you’ll find, but why would you even want to look?

Lately I’m thinking that the 24×7 news cycle – social media too – is doing real damage to our culture by giving pop narcissists and celebrity train wrecks, not to mention terrorists and murderers, all the notoriety they crave. Never mind the ever more divisive and incendiary political and social rhetoric.

The media’s out of control, but how do you control something that’s guaranteed free speech by the first amendment? That’s right, you can’t. And that’s as it should be.

I used to think that people who said they never watch the news or they don’t even have a TV set in their house were just being pretentious, and maybe years ago they were, but there’s something to be said for just tuning out the media circus and going about your business.

After all, the media is in the advertising business. What doesn’t capture eyeballs and views, doesn’t sell ads. That’s how you control the media. Don’t watch. Change the channel. Navigate to a different site. End of story. Literally.

 

  • Svenska

    Right as usual Steve! I’m one of those that barely tune in to TV.

    • Steve Tobak

      I’m a voracious consumer of fiction, regardless of the media, written or audio/visual. Reality I prefer to experience on my own.

  • “Maybe there’s something wrong with me but I’m finding it hard to get worked up about the news these days.”

    It isn’t the news. It’s just a different format of reality TV show – with the same scripted relationship to reality. The day you understand that is the first day of your liberation.

    “That’s how you control the media. Don’t watch.”

    It works for our household. Now, here’s the bad news: you still have an internet connection, and probably a smartphone. So if you end up spending your time on stupid crap after turning off the TV, it’s totally on you.

    Or, you can learn something, and do yourself proud. Pick a subject or 2 that interest you, and decide to know more a year from now. It isn’t a bad idea to keep a weekly log of some kind, showing how you improved yourself with the freed time. At the end of the year, read that log. And smile.