The art of ignoring bad news


My shrink and I have spent a long time talking me into being less of a news junkie. Because when I focus on the news too much, I get depressed. Really depressed. Stay in bed depressed.

So I have avoided the news as much as possible today. I know that five men decided that the “religious freedom” of a company is more important than the religious freedom of women when it comes to their reproductive health. I know that three teenagers were murdered in the Middle East for the temerity of being Israeli Jews (and probably, some number of Palestinian youth were killed because they were unfortunate enough to be born Palestinian, or on the wrong side of the Israeli border, or of the wrong sex or sect). I know that there are people who want to kill people because of the borders they live within, the religion they espouse, the politics they follow, the books they read. I know that Republicans hate Democrats hate Republicans and poor people the world over will risk their lives and the lives of their children to come to this country. And I know that although the Seattle Mariners are doing a remarkable job this year, they will not likely make the World Series.

But on days like this when the news is so overwhelmingly sad or maddening I turn on the news but listen with half an ear; I skim the paper; I read the entertainment news and get mad that the Kardashians are eating up printer ink and trees because that’s a safer kind of anger. I focus on cute kitty and puppy memes and girl empowerment videos from big corporate entities (who have helped distort the body image of generations of women — but I ignore that part).

And I will sit on the deck as the sun sets and watch the youngsters of the Seattle Mariners trounce the Houston Astros (8-3 in the middle of the eighth as I type this) and not care if they tank late in the season or if they win a wild card spot in the playoffs only to lose in the first round.

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