HillBilly Circus

Most of my life, I thought a “well-informed” person should read at least one weekly news-magazine, read a daily newspaper (or more), tune in nightly news broadcasts and listen to a broad range of current-issue radio presentations. After carefully consuming “news” via reading / listening / watching multiple news resources as well as analyzing and evaluating issues, I realize the term “well-informed” can be misleading. I’ve found the freedom to unplug!oldtimeradio

The newspaper was the first to go. I spent entirely too much time everyday … morning coffee eased into mid-morning coffee and even midday. (My thought process went like this:  as long as I held a cup of coffee in my hand, it was still “breakfast.“) About ten years ago, I was ready to cancel delivery, except my Beloved insisted on keeping it. We continue to subscribe but now the accumulation of papers just annoys me.

About a year ago, I cut out my last hard copy news magazine, opting for the digital edition only. Though I see occasional snippets of nightly news (consumed by my Beloved), I can’t remember when I last watched a complete story. Even the news delivered to my Inbox receives little more than a cursory glance.

CrosleyHaving minimized my news outlets, I find it’s amazing the difference in my attitude! It hit me one day that the various news sources that drew my attention weren’t so much providing news for my consumption … they were force-feeding me the stories (of persons, places, things) they wanted to discuss. For example, when the story broke relating the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman incident, reporters focused on that story to the exclusion of anything else.

Of course, similar force-feeding of “news” goes on everyday. We’re twenty months away from the next General Election. I’m guessing very few people in our country have the energy to think about a November 2016 election at this point. But it makes no difference because reporters want to talk about every move the currently announced candidates make! They want to trick you into believing Mitt Romney’s thinking about running again … or Donald Trump is looking at the possibility. If a run by convicted murderer Charles Manson could generate headlines, they might run with that story!

Simply put, I don’t care to know if Hillary ate at a Chipotle or flew coach on her return trip from Iowa! I don’t want to hear Marco Rubio speak Spanish or be grilled on his immigration stance! No, no, no!

A California politician by name of Jesse M. Unruh (also known as Big Daddy Unruh) observed “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” This quote from the now-deceased Unruh came in a 1963 newspaper article. He understood politics … and apparently, nothing’s changed.

Candidates start early because they want to get donors committed. Once the big funders have chosen their candidates, latecomers will find the mother’s milk has dried up. I understand this … but it doesn’t make me any less disgusted to be force-fed a steady diet of useless information. In my view, if the reporters spent less time on potential and announced political candidates, there might be sufficient time to cover stories that matter, as in really matter!

Today’s poem might best be characterized as a poet-rant, a poetrant, if you will. Anyone else feel as I do?


12 thoughts on “HillBilly Circus

  1. I’ve been a little disgruntled with most news outlets lately too. I think it started with the lost Malaysian plane: thirty minutes straight of “We don’t know where it is” made me think that perhaps watching the news every single day wasn’t as vital as I thought it was. And now that the media is entirely obsessed with every insignificant detail of the 2016 election, I see no reason to follow the news religiously. Instead, I’ve been using my free time to read all the books I keep saying I’m going to read but have never gotten around to. I’ve learned much more about the world that way. 🙂

    P. S. I love how you always call your husband “my Beloved.” It sounds so much better than the nicknames most people come up with (More poetic too. 🙂 ). I know of one blogger who insists on referring to her husband as “Hubby” in nearly all of her posts. *Shudders.*

    1. Yes! The lost aircraft was a perfect illustration! We laughed at how often the lead story would be “Nothing yet, but they’re still looking.” You make a great point about doing things that are much more valuable!

      Thanks for your PS! In his Song of Songs, Solomon says “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. ” I think it’s a beautiful declaration – so I’ve borrowed it!

    2. Well done as usual. Yes the force-feeding can be relentless as a suffragist on a hunger strike and guards refusing to her die on their watch. I don’t want crud but crud is forced if you I look to read or see what’s happening! I like the poem.
      (It will be interesting watching Huckabee announce…So could there be a Huckabee v Hillary ‘the battle in HOPE!’ Get your popcorn and cotton.candy here…popcorn and cotton candy!)

      1. Thanks for your comment! I dread the possibility of Huck throwing his hat in the ring. Yet he did leave his Fox show acknowledging he was thinking about a run, so it should be no surprise. Hillary or Huck? I think if it comes down to them, no cotton candy and popcorn for me, thanks. Neither will be entertaining nor cause for celebration. Head for deep cover.

  2. Well, Clem – I do declare I’m still a-gonna vote Hillbilly in the ee-lection. Pass that moonshine over here now.

    Who’s “Ben Ghazi?”

    (Shore wuz a perty poem by the way…)

    1. Haha! Honestly, we’re not that backward in Arky-Barky. We just promote that illusion to discourage outsiders from settling here!

        1. I have great respect for Dolly. She’s savvy and talented but has a heart of gold. One of my friends reminds me of Dolly (every time she talks). Yes, Dolly’s more Appalachian, but would feel at home here.

          I love the poem. Clever “cleft” at the beginning all the way to imprecatory … never would’ve expected that as a final word, but it works amazingly well! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Well, People Magazine is my Bible. How else would I know that the Duggar girl that is studying to be a midwife had a C-Section because of a meconium stain and her sister that married last November is now pregnant and due November 1 this year? I keep thinking I’m too old for this publication but this stuff is news worthy, right?

    1. You’re so funny! It’s been years since I read People Magazine … isn’t that what FaceBook’s for? Come visit me sometime and you can stop in at the Duggar’s on your way to/from. (They’re little over a mile away from us.)

  4. That’s a good one, Renee! I gave up TV news quite a while back. Besides the fact the news simply serves to give me more to try not to think about, I cannot stand supposed journalists telling me how I should believe and act about every topic. Even when I agree with a “reporter” it annoys me! I’d like to hear the facts and come up with my own interpretation. Bret listens to news people yakking and arguing about every issue over and over. I have to go elsewhere for some peace. I still do enjoy reading the daily Corbin newspaper. It doesn’t take long, I keep up with local news and major national news, and I finish it off with some chuckles from the comics. Much better than TV news!

    1. Yes, so right, the news gives “me more to try not to think about.” I’m with you on that!

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