As any regular reader of this blog will tell you, I am less than enchanted with the content of mainstream “news”. This is particularly true when the subject turns to some celebrity, whether they are from Hollywood, sports, the ultra-rich, or anywhere in between. Suddenly, there is this endless, annoying 24/7 saga that dominates the headlines, endlessly hyped for days or weeks until the very air seems saturated with it. Obvious examples include (in no particular order) the Tiger Woods scandal, the passing of Michael Jackson, Monica Lewinsky, the Balloon-boy Hoax, and the death of Anna-Nicole’s breasts. The sad thing is that there is often some real human pain and humiliation in these stories, but rubbing our collective faces in it for ratings or (worse) to create counterfeit political momentum in the case of Monicagate, makes it positively toxic. One could feel sorry for these people and their loved ones if their woes were not so over-sold and ultimately trivialized.
Since we dropped our cable service a couple of years ago, I have made an effort to adopt a mindset that avoids these kinds of trivialities on the assumption that I have a finite amount of life to live, and only so much bandwidth at any given moment. I read books, which are usually ad-free. I no longer follow sports, having long ago realized what total soap opera sports reporting has become. I choose my web sites carefully, and have trained myself to totally ignore all web ads. And now, so help me, it looks as if I have avoided getting hosed by one of these pointless brouhahas.
I have learned just in the last couple of days that there is some guy named “LeBron” who is apparently some sports figure. He is in the spotlight about something, probably having to do, directly or indirectly, with money. At least one large ego may be involved. Don’t know, don’t care.
From the odd headline I see, it looks like there are people who think this is a really big deal. But I haven’t clicked any of those headlines to check. As I said: don’t know, don’t care.
Here’s the rub: I have, without filtering for this particular story (because I didn’t know about it), dodged what is almost certainly yet another stupid, inane, pointless pseudo-story that would have only served to waste my time when I could be learning or doing something truly interesting. They missed me. All those gigawatts of media blather blasting away, trying to batter their way through, and they couldn’t touch me. But other stories that actually mean a damn, did.
Do you have any idea how giddy with excitement that makes me? It’s a taste of freedom from inanity. It’s a proof of concept that one can create a circumstance that avoids the distractions that shave so many IQ points off hoi polloi.
All that effort to manage my information stream has created a small, delectable taste of freedom. How sweet it is.