It’s been over three weeks now since I’ve gone away from blogdom and sought my news only from the NYTs. And, I can only be sure I’ve learned one thing. I am cancelling the NYTs subscription as soon as I release myself from this self-imposed media prison.
I just got done reading the Times this morning. “Reading” might be a bit strong as a characterization for my interaction with the newspaper. It would be more fair to say that I just got done “browsing” the Times. I read the headlines, and an ever decreasing number of articles. I’ve got absolutely no interest in most of the stuff they print. I don’t remember hardly anything I read a day ago. Two days ago is an eternity. And, now, sitting here having just “browsed” the paper, I can only really recall one story that stuck with me.
Apparently, General Motors is making a van for the Chinese market that gets 43 miles per gallon and costs $5,000 retail. I guess they don’t think such a product has much future in America, because it has only a quarter of the horse power of American mini-vans, tops out at 81 miles per hour, and the upholstery is lacking to American tastes. What complete idiots. I would personally sign up to sell these machines, and I completely hate car salesman. Still, I bet I could outsell anyone in my own city with this product. Oh yeah. The guy who ran the plant and designed these ghastly vehicles. General Motors has let him go. I couldn’t even make it to the rest of the story on page C14 (or where ever it was). Too floored by the idiocy.
That’s it. That’s what I remember from my daily news source five or ten minutes ago. And, I don’t mean to say the NYTs is worthless. Maybe it is me that is worthless, as a news consumer. Because I know there are a lot of great stories I just skip over now, out of boredom. But, I just don’t give a crap about the news that is fit to print, or the way that they print it. I guess news has changed. All Internet, all the time, when I am done with this crap. Oh, and I miss NPR, too. A lot.
On the plus side of things, life has taken a few cool new twists in these past newsless days. First, the cover design for novel number one is done, and it looks pretty cool, if I do say so. That makes life without any real news a little better. Second, I found the time to take on a very small local battle over encroachments onto wetlands in my neighborhood. I feel like it is a sure loser, but it is good to advocate locally for something you believe in. Quite a rush, and frankly more activism than I have been directly involved with for years. Third, and best of all, I have found a new way to waste time, and I want to be sure I share this wisdom with all of you (or none of you – the ratings for my little diatribes don’t seem to be faring all that well, but who really cares).
When you got no news, you have a lot of time on your hands. I have done all kinds of crap trying to find ways to waste time now. My entertainment budget is busted. Movies all the time. Renting old TV series (check out Northern Exposure on DVD if you can). Games with the kids, which is cool. Lots of minor league baseball and mini-vacations. Museums. Books I’ve been meaning to read and hadn’t (check out No Logo – finally got through it). Organic gardening, or at least preparations for a full time takeover of my chemically dependent lawn next year. It has been a rich, if trite, life. But, while I was looking for organic supplies at Home Depot (forgive me father for I have shopped at a multi-national corporation), I came across the greatest time killer ever. Did you know that you can go to something like Home Improvement College at Home Depot? And, it is free. They have a gigantic class schedule on the outside of the store. Things like – Monday, learn to build a deck. Tuesday – Refinishing your cabinetry. Wednesday – etc, etc, etc.
I, like Napoleon Dynamite, having virtually no skills, have a panacea of free education ahead of me.
I am only half serious though. Because the whole thing kind of creeps me out. I know what the classes will be like. They will be like those people who try to sell you time shares when you are gambling in Vegas. They will promise you complimentary meals and shows (or in the case of Home Depot, complimentary classes) if you will just spend a couple of days listening to their sales pitch. But, such is higher education in America today. Get your corporate pitch and a free education. I think it is total bullshit. But, I am pretty bored without news. Hmmm.