My father reads the newspaper everyday. He is one of those firm believers in the importance of knowing “what’s going on in the world”. He sneers up at me from the couch, wearing a pair of cheap women’s reading glasses, his green eyes magnified through the lenses, staring into mine. I can’t help but laugh a little on the inside over how ridiculous they look on his big, tough exterior. I respect my father a lot, even if we hardly see eye to eye. He knows my position on the news. I believe that while it is important to have an idea of whats going on, most of the information is a way of keeping us down. The small print spits out stories of war, collapsing economies, false idols, and death everyday.
I used to allow myself to get caught up in the rapture of the spoon-fed depression that is modern day media. Then, I realized that it only lead me to extreme feelings of hopelessness. Recently my father had broken his ankle out in North Dakota where he now drives a truck around for some oil company. It fascinates me as to why he is still so reliant on the news because if anyone knows that there are many things hidden from the public’s knowledge, it’s him. I decide to entertain this argument with him on this particular morning, mainly out of boredom, but also because I recently had an epiphany about the subject. Also, I know that my argument skills impress him.
What if there was no news? What if people had no idea what was going on except for the reality of their own lives? We would be able to focus more on solving the problems that face us directly, within our own heads and hometowns. The problems that arise wouldn’t just get lost among the noise created by all of the other problems in the world, which has the ability to make big issues seem small in the grand scheme of things.
In school we took exams on one chapter at a time. Taking the time to learn each topic and subject with detail. Today’s society goes directly against everything we were taught right here in our own schools. Between the media and social networking, there are just too many topics to sort through. With so many different subjects and topics in the news, it becomes nearly impossible to decide which ones deserve a more careful read. I see it in my own father. He feels that since he reads the newspaper, he has a grasp on what is going on in life. I prefer to spend those moments taking an inventory of my head and sorting through what is bothering me and then deciding what I can do to make a difference.
Everyday is a test of what we have learned. I believe it is safe to say that no one would be able to pass a test given on all the news in the world that happens in one day, let alone one week. This fact begs the question, “What is the point in filling our precious head space with issues that we have no control over?” All it does it keep us from getting to know ourselves and our true purpose. We are filled with fear and hopelessness. Stories about the atrocities of the universe distract us from the ones right in our own lives, our own homes. At least this allows the pharmaceutical companies sales to skyrocket. Too bad my name is not Xanax.
In today’s day and age most everybody needs to work like a dog to survive. Between the stress of the looming world war, work, mother nature, family, and keeping up appearances, we aren’t left with any room to take a deeper look into ourselves. Our life is the only thing that we have control over, and we are constantly giving up the time and energy that it takes to do so to things that we cannot control. Rather than rule ourselves, we have fallen victim to the dictatorship of the dollar. Even the news has a price tag.
Money is evil, self-control is power, power is everything. My dad has already checked out of the conversation at this point. This time I chuckle on the inside, because during this argument I had also realized that his own glasses were sitting right in front of him, but he was too distracted with his head buried to realize.