Oh. I try to pay attention. Truly.
There was a time when I could keep up with things. These days, I can not. As plain as the whomping nose on my face, I can not stay abreast of it all.
I don’t think I’ve gotten any slower, mentally. In fact, if anything, the opposite is true. I seem to have an insatiable appetite for learning, and gathering information. Like little furry squirrels, with their nuts.
But the flow of news items these days, has simply gotten out of hand. Before we go any further on this, let me address the entire notion of Pop Culture. An entity in its very own. At Dictionary.Com, it is defined as “cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people.”
I guess I have fallen out of the ranks of the “general masses.” I no longer care about the TV Shows, the movies, or the people acting therein. The newest songs and the Top Ten Lists are not of my concern. I don’t even understand why the Kardashians are the Kardashians, and how it is, that so many people came to care about what they say or do.
There was a time when I knew all of this. These days, I care more about my Oatmeal, and if it will be in stock at the grocers. Apparently, the big news yesterday, in the world of Pop, was Madonna’s Tribute to Aretha Franklin at the VMAs. For those of you who are with me, out there on the fringes of the masses of popularity, the VMAs are the Video Music Awards. Personally, I quit watching Video Music when it started to become painful for me to observe. Anyway, Madonna went on a bit of a rant about herself, her life, and her myriad of achievements. People were surprised and upset by this. I don’t know why. Madonna has always been self-absorbed. If you want someone to do a tribute, hire the likes of Mother Teresa, or perhaps Tom Hanks.
So yes, popular culture. That is a wild creature in itself.
But, as I mentioned at the start, I can’t keep up with the bigger part of each day’s news. Every hour, there seems to be some new and breaking development in the world, and especially, in the Office of the President.
Just yesterday, a woman was killed by an alligator while walking her dog in SC. Also. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes. And then. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, pled guilty to eight criminal counts.
It all sounds very swamp-ish to me. At least the alligator was acting on instinct. As for the rest, it sounds like an enormous dose of corruption, greed, and crime.
A hurricane is headed to Hawaii. Jon Stewart helped rescue some goats from the rail tracks in NY. A missing college student was found murdered. And. A woman fell from a cruise ship, and sang to stay alive.
Glancing, fleeting, transient headlines.
Some people say they pay no attention to the news. They say it does not concern them, or that it is just too much for them to handle. I respect their vacancy in this.
For me, however, it is important. I typically check in twice. At the start of the day, and then again in the evening. I feel it is a responsibility. I feel that I am a Citizen on Planet Earth, and I should try to be aware of the ebb and flow.
Can I make a difference? Perhaps not. But then again, maybe so. I can write my letters, and make my phone calls. I can support my chosen causes. And when it comes time to vote, I know who has done what, and where.
Sometimes, I look at it as studying for a test. Getting prepped. Knowing the material.
Because these days, I think, we are being tested.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
― Winston S. Churchill
“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”
― Steve Maraboli,
“Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre