In my late-youth years working as a media analyst I was steeped in current local information and it drove me completely nutty. I mean seriously obsessive. One weekend I was forced to take a break... um, I mean My Lady of the Concerned Smiles bought me a holiday at a lovely retreat spot famed for it's food, natural beauty and complete and utter detachment from the rest of the world. In spite of the fact that I was told that they don't carry newspapers, guess how long it took me to break down and "casually" wander to reception to "casually" enquire if they didn't have a stray copy of today's paper? Thirty minutes. I will never forget the pitying smiles that accompanied the gentle denial.
It's been a couple of years now and just like a lot of other people who write for a pseudo-living and read the tealeaves of socio-cultural-political trends in their milieu, I have finally managed to grow a set of protective filters. As in, I am finally confident enough to indulge my prejudices/laziness fully in the name of protecting my sanity. So how does a former media analyst stay away from the carnival antics and crazytalk of mainstream media? By building up a regularly updated Ignore List that manages whatever is trending*- or not- at any given moment. Some of the items are permanent residents, some come and go.
Here's what is on the current Ignore List:
1. Any discussion about The Union and the Draft Constitution. Or Zanzibar for that matter.
2. Nelson Mandela. Because he's an old man and I am not a ghoul.
3. Celebrity pregnancies and their kids. Because: ew, world, way to perv. Reproduction happens, even to the rich and weird, and it's no reason to fatshame mothers and stalk legal minors. Come on, now.
4. Sports. Unless I am watching Serena Williams (Serena? Ha! talk about irony) eat the liver of her slain competitor on the tennis field or watching perfect South African male specimens with inexplicably delicate ankles play rugby by zipping like gazelles springing and frolicking across the veldt? Meh.
5. Politicians' sex lives, and their views on sexuality/marriage. Yawn. If it's not a criminal case, I like to keep my mind out of their hypocritical little panties.
6. Right now, Rwanda and Malawi and the DRC. Seems the prudent thing to do.
7. Financial news. Because life is short and I'd rather spend it thinking about organically raised kids and blues music.
8. Religion, and strife of the religious kind. Because: I don't get it, so the less said, the fewer believers will try to convert me from my sinnin' ways.
9. That thing called fashion: ...what is it? can I eat it? No? Oh, well nevermind then.
10. Top ten lists of (whatever) that (fill in the blank). Unless we're talking about Scifi/Animated movies in which case I'll bring my boxing gloves to that discussion. Solaris is so underrated.
11. Obama. Kinda more interested in watching the evolution of his post-presidential career, to be honest.
So (because I care) what do you ignore and why? Oh, look. My comments' section is dead. I wonder why... ;)
*Actually, I do keep half an eyeball out for whatstrendingrightnow. It's a nice way to check out what's preoccupying the hivemind, who is exploiting their fifteen minutes of fame, occasionally discovering a piece of good new music. But it does demand ninja surfing skills if you want to avoid accidental eye-melts, like an unexpected picture of Anthony's Wiener and other online hazards**.
**America: please, stop. Please, just... stop.