Kellyn and I sat at Red’s Tuesday night and, aided by a few glasses of Kokanee, I made a confession: “I’m sick of the news,” I told him. I didn’t mean my job; I meant the stories dominating the national conversation these days. From investigative reporting to essays on the cultural zeitgeist, there’s just not much out there right now, with the exception, of course, of the excellent financial writing being done about the global economic crisis (though where were these journalists six months ago?).
I don’t want to read about whether Barack Obama is going to keep his blackberry. I don’t want to read about Michelle Obama’s butt. I don’t care about the puppy or which private school the Obama girls will be attending. I don’t want to read about whether Obama is being presumptuous in his current interim position as President-elect. I don’t want to read about how George W. Bush is the lamest duck in history. I don’t want to read utter speculation about whether Obama’s presidency will be a transcendent success or doomed to failure already. I don’t want to read any more about what the Republican Party needs to do during its “time in the wilderness.” I don’t want to read about whether Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters are still feuding.
(I do, however, still sort of want to read about pirates.)
The local news isn’t much better. The city council work session I sat through Monday night, in a room filled to capacity with firefighters and police officers, was one of the grimmest and most difficult couple of hours I’ve witnessed in the year-and-a-half I’ve spent covering these people. And it ended inconclusively.
So, while this might be somewhat self-defeating for someone in my line of work, here’s my recommendation: Let’s all turn off the news for a few days. Close the laptops. Fold up the paper and stick it in the recycling bin. Turn off the talk radio and put on some music. Change the channel to Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving or football or the Wizard of Oz. Take the dog for a walk in this sunny, cold early winter weather. Gorge yourself on turkey in the way only we Americans can. If you’re crazy enough to want to go shopping Friday, go do it, but just please be nice to those harried, overworked ladies at Ross Dress for Less. Ice-skate at Woodland Park or the Stumptown Ice Den. Drink coffee in your pajamas until noon, then eat a turkey sandwich for breakfast.
We’ll all pick it up again Monday, but let’s just take a break for a few days. We deserve it.
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