I am always a little shocked when someone tells me they do not read or pay attention to the news. The other night, my friend Rita told me that she can go through long periods of not reading the news. I was shocked to hear this. However, it is not the first time I have heard someone stating they do not follow the news.
I already lean towards the Cynical and Pessimistic. Oh sure, my glass might be half full, but the government will surely swipe what is left. I see that reading the news and related commentary merely serves to feed those negative inclinations that dwell deep inside my frosty heart. I know this, folks. However, I still want to be aware of what is going on and I feel it is more dangerous to not know.
I want to know what is happening with the BP spill. Even though I live in Kansas, this affects me, if not for the petty reason that my Costco shrimp may increase in price, then for the mere fact that I care about my fellow citizens and our wildlife on the Gulf Coast. I fear that the situation in North and South Korea is going to work its way it to the front page soon and that we will find ourselves mired in yet a third, concurrent war (did you know that the military is planning for a deployment to the Yellow Sea? Read the fine print in that article.) Yesterday, I dug around and found a stunning entire section on our fallen soldiers - a site that is continuously updated and not just for Memorial Day. And in inconsequential, non-earth shattering type of current events, I do want to know what is going to happen with the Big 12 - it affects the Jayhawks, so it is important to me.
I will concede that maybe, just maybe, keeping up on current events is why I am such a crabby, bitter soul. Perhaps. But still! I want to know that all of these things are happening. I cannot resist.
Every day, I scan a local Kansas City site, CNN.com, Google Reader and Twitter. Yes, Google Reader and The Tweetle - I often find some of the more interesting pieces of what is happening in our world through links others share via Tweets and shared items on Google Reader (enthusiastic hat tip to Leah and Mishri! You two share the best stuff!) I am constantly reading and re-evaluating my positions. My political views were pretty different 10 years ago, I credit reading about current events for this change. Maybe my views are right, maybe they are wrong. But I know that they may very well change because I will never stop learning about my world as it also continues to change.
Do you read the news? Do you watch the news? Am I wasting my time by reading the news? Would my mental health improve if I just stopped listening to The Voices? Are ostriches really that much more happy and peaceful? Or is the ostrich going to get his ass handed to him for not paying attention?