Feb 222007

Today was the first day I really realized it, I think.

I probably met a reasonable clinical definition for addiction to the online game Acrophobia in 1997-98, and I’ve struggled off and on with cigarettes for the past 20 years. But I’m not talking about either of those.

I’m addicted to news and commentary.

I read and listen incessantly. In the morning, sometimes even before I have a cup of coffee, I’m on CNN.com, FoxNews.com, and NPR.org. I read The Corner at National Review Online off and on all day. Usually it’s Boortz in the morning. I check the markets a couple of times a day. If I’m by myself for lunch, it’s back and forth between NPR and Rush. And it was a typical solo lunch today: me, a Target deli sandwich, a Diet Coke, and the radio.

Except today, I got angry. There are two, and only two, branches to the news right now. The first is all about Britney shaving her head and blowing rehab, Anna Nicole’s body decomposing, O.J.’s Naked Gun checks being garnished, and the like. The other pretends the presidential election is a few weeks away instead of most of two years.

Who needs this? Is my life really being enhanced?

I’m going cold turkey for a week, starting tomorrow morning. I’m not surfin’ it’; I’m not watchin’ it; I’m not listenin’ to it from Thursday morning to Thursday morning. Then I’ll assess potential “healthy” levels of exposure, as I believe a need for a basic level of information is legitimate.

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 Posted by at 2:24 am

  6 Responses to “I’m a junkie”

  1. When I feel that the new sources aren’t giving me anything noteworthy I feed my need by surfing IMDB. It’s totally trashy and mindless, but it gets me through the workday.

  2. I agree with you on the stupid britney/anna saturation. It’s like watching a train wreck.

    But, I don’t know how you can go cold turkey now that good ole’ Boortz has completely ticked of the teachers union. Seriously, that is going to be some good entertainment.

  3. Sounds like it’s time to wake up Darren Halling from his drunken stupor and whip out another blogcast so he can drop some noteworthy news on your ass. What a sack of crap that guy is. But he’s union so whaddya gonna do.

    I’m thinking I’m overdue for a disconnection vacation. Maybe if I’m doing ok after this tv purchase come early spring, I’ll head out to northern CA again and just unplug for a week.

    Don’t get the shakes, man. Get the fries. Oowwwww…awful.

  4. It’s not been terribly difficult, though it’s been surprising how ingrained the behavior is. One time today I just clicked on CNN.com in my browser without even thinking about it and started reading away. Gained awareness about five seconds in and closed the window immediately.

    I also attended a professional happy hour last night and was unfortunately seated directly in front of a FOX News television at Green Hills Grille. I couldn’t hear it and was doing a pretty good job of not looking at it, but at some point the table(s) began discussing Anna Nicole. So I did gather that she’s going to be buried in the Bahamas. Sigh.

    Nevertheless, the spirit of the sabbatical is intact. I’m pretty gleefully uninformed. 🙂

    Lesley, I LOVE IMDB. Huge swaths of time vanish starting at http://www.imdb.com/.

    Saintseester, I can do without Boortz for a week–though you’re right, he was just getting into the teacher’s unions when I started my break. I’m betting he’ll still be there when I come out.

    Jeremy, Lea and I have fun with Darren Halling. I showed her his page on MySpace and she chuckled pretty heartily about it. Sometimes he’s not quite the guy he looks like from his picture he would be to me, but I’m still quite entertained by him–and frankly, glad that jackass doesn’t live around here.

  5. I love listening to the BBC World News as I fall asleep. The voices are lovely.

  6. I like listening to the BBC in the car sometimes. Not so much for the accents, but for a different perspective on the happenings in the world. For example, did you know Anna Nichole Smith is dead?

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