Honestly, though I still have my subscription to The Bee, sometimes I wonder why. I mean, look at some headlines in today's edition:
Gas decline fails to rev up economy
Deadly peril poised over Yosemite cabins
Vets' health complaints supported in new study
Wildfires highlight lack of mobile home insurance
Budget crisis forcing CSU system to cut enrollment
Al-Malaki fires corruption fighters
Bold pirates bag big prize - supertanker
Taliban reject offer of peace talks
There's a good one - "Retired brass urge end to 'Don't ask, don't tell'" and, just for fun, "Some folks can't stand new urinal" - but by and large, am I too sensitive, or does reading the morning paper make you want to go back to bed?
It's not just The Bee, it's "the news." The news is bad. And a steady diet of it is getting me down. And yet I keep on reading, watching the web, first thing in the morning, last thing at night. What's up with that? Is it an addiction?
Or is it just the price of being a part of a community, local and global? I didn't know that Steve Rex, an old friend and important midtown fixture, had been in a bad bike crash. I'm glad to know that, even though it's bad news.
The election sorta burned me out. I couldn't stop reading, watching, surfing - and yet the result was what it was. It was glorious, don't get me wrong - but I coulda just waited until Election Day and then enjoyed it, instead of freaking myself out with worry about which way it was going to go. And someone, please, get Chris Matthews out of my head!
Beyond that, my overwhelm, combined with the accumulated anger of eight years of living in a country where torture and war and greed are the "new normal" - I exploded at a friend who didn't really deserve it, and thus, lost a friend. I could justify it, but not really.
So, what good comes out of following the news? I ask this as someone who still purveys it, one of the few who've left The Bee and still can call himself a journalist. What good is it doing?
Honestly, the main thing I read the Bee for these days - and I know I'm not alone - is Bob Shallit's column. Today's column featured news about the Citizen Hotel, which opens Nov. 30, and always gives me a sense of what's going on on the ground. It doesn't matter a whole lot more, on a day to day basis, than my growing knowledge of Somali pirates, but I suppose I'm better off for knowing about it. Right?
I don't know, really. Do you? What do YOU get from following the news these days? Is it freaking you out, too? Is it adding anything good to your life? I'd really like to know.