Thursday, 15 March 2018

The blockade

When he heard Donald Trump had become US President, Erik Hagerman was so shocked and dismayed he decided he'd had enough of the news and from then on was going to ignore it. He would live his life news-free and be a lot happier for it.

Well, so far he seems to have kept his promise and not one news item has spoilt his day. He's fully occupied breeding pigs and making sculptures. Or so he says. It's hard to believe he's indifferent to the President's latest crazy decision or the latest mass shooting, but apparently it all passes him by.

I couldn't cut myself off from the world to that extent. I know so much of the news nowadays is depressing and horrifying, I know it's probably not good for my blood pressure or my emotional well-being, but I couldn't just shut it all out.

Apart from feeling I should be fully informed about what goes on in the world and how people live their lives - including those lives that are violent, nasty and depraved - there are also news items that are encouraging and instructive and I would be missing out on them.

In any case such a boycott (what he calls the blockade) would be almost impossible to maintain without an iron will and all sorts of rigid restrictions. I doubt if I would keep it up for more than a week or two without cracking. I would see a group of people having a heated debate about something and I would be itching to know what they were discussing.

And I have to admit I'm also hooked on those quirky little stories that provide a bit of light relief. Like the controversy among National Trust members as to what you should spread on your scones first - the jam or the cream. I love how people can get so frenzied over such utter trivia.

Pic: Erik Hagerman

22 comments:

Secret Agent Woman said...

I hope that doesn't mean he won't vote when he gets the opportunity. I'm with him on hating hte ongoing shit show that is our current president (along with his minions) but we need people to stay informed enough to be motivated to vote them out!

Joanne Noragon said...

I settled for on line news feed only. No TV; pick and chose among the sources for the news lines. As to your jam and cream controversy...

CheerfulMonk said...

Reading bits of unpleasant news in the morning has been part of my stress management practice for years. I seldom get upset anymore --- if it does generate some energy, I just do something constructive with it.

nick said...

Agent: Good point that we need to be fully informed in order to vote intelligently.

Joanne: I never watch the TV news, it's so superficial and over-simplified. Online sources tend to dig deeper.

nick said...

Jean: I can get concerned about unpleasant news stories but I seldom get myself into a real lather, it's pointless and wearisome. If I have zero influence over the politicians and can do nothing effective, getting worked up is useless.

Bijoux said...

It's understandable. I can't believe how nice it is to just go on vacation for a few days and block out all the negative energy online.

tammy j said...

"getting worked up is useless."
totally true.
and as one who has a BP that spikes to dangerous levels I had to learn that and still be able to watch enough to keep informed and vote at least with a little knowledge!
and dang. now I want a scone with strawberry jam and cream.

nick said...

Bijoux: Yes, I'm also pretty cut off from news sources when I'm on holiday, as I don't own a tablet or a smartphone. It's a very refreshing experience.

Tammy: I wonder how Erik Hagerman votes if he's so ignorant of what's going on around him. Perhaps he doesn't vote either.

Scones are rather wonderful, aren't they?

Polly said...

When I’m on holiday I enjoy switching off from the news but when I get home I like to catch up. I don’t listen or watch the news every day but I like to know what’s going on.
I put the cream on first because it is easier to spread jam over cream than cream over jam. I could go into the chemistry of the denseness between jam and cream but it would just be made up waffle!! :-) Now as for waffles .......

Wisewebwoman said...

I'm sympathetic to him. I've considered it myself. I'm very fussy as to what I read/absorb in the way of selected newsfeeds but like you get enraged. Particularly when I see those shoes of all the murdered children at the White House. 7,000. Barbaric. Insane.

XO
WWW

kylie said...

jam first. that is obvious

Ms Scarlet said...

Jam first!!! I know I live in Devon.... but, it's about practicalities.... how can you spread Jam on top of cream? Spread the Jam first and dollop the cream on top.
Meanwhile, the idea of cutting the news out of my life is appealing, pity I don't have an iron will.
Sx

nick said...

Polly: The chemistry of the denseness between jam and cream? Goodness, that's taking it to a whole new level. We'll be discussing the ins and outs of spreading techniques next.

Kylie: I agree with you. Obviously that's the correct sequence.

nick said...

Scarlet: I have a lot of will power, but not enough to cut out scone-spreading controversies from my life.

www: The murdered children's shoes were a brilliant way of emphasising the grotesque level of gun violence in the States. You couldn't help but imagine all the children who wore those shoes, and imagine them still frolicking around like any other children.

Rummuser said...

On those national holidays here when we do not get our newspapers the next day, I am lost. I need my daily dose of five newspapers and the crossword puzzles that they contain. I don't watch TV but this is my lifeline to sanity.

nick said...

Ramana: The only day we have no newspapers here is on Christmas Day. They're published on every other public holiday. Anyway, all the newspapers are online....

Polly said...

aha, yes Ms Scarlet, that's the best way, a huge dollop of cream on the jam, much easier :-)

nick said...

Polly: Yes, personally I find it easier to put the jam on first. Putting the cream on first is simply vulgar, lol.

Polly said...

oh really dahling, one simply musn't be vulgar :-)

nick said...

Polly: And how vulgar to be caught furtively eating a second scone when everyone else has stopped at one....

Danielle L Zecher said...

I think a short term blockade is a good thing. I typically refuse to watch, read, or listen to news on the weekends. I get enough awful stuff during the week at work.. But I don't think it's feasible to go for very long without knowing what's going on. And there is occasionally some good news out there.

nick said...

Danielle: I agree, a short term news blockade can be quite refreshing, clearing all that dispiriting negativity out of my head for a few days. But I think it's important to be in touch with what's happening in the rest of the world, especially as some of it as you say is actually welcome news.