As I've looked back over my previous post, I've come to realize that there could be some confusion as to my intent. When I said that I was dropping out, I meant simply dropping out of the news cycle, not running away from blogging.
The problem with being immersed in the news cycle is partially explained by this article in Vanity Fair that shows how badly the media porked Al Gore in the 2000 election. I was particularly struck by one thing that I had either forgotten or never knew because wasn't reported by the dreaded MSM: As of the first debate in 2000, George W. Bush didn't know that Social Security was a federal program. Any news organization that overlooked that to focus on Al Gore sighing should be run out of business. Of course, that would include roughly all of them, and running them out of business would save numberless trees and free up many hours of valuable TV time for sitcoms and idiotic reality shows.
The fact is that these news services did the nation a huge disservice by promoting the 24 Lies About Al Gore. How much deadly farce would we have avoided in the past six years had Gore's margin of victory in Florida been large enough to be tamperproof? It's hard to tell, but we would probably be living in a much saner, safer, and freer society than we currently do.
And we have to wonder, which boob will they give us this next time? (I'm assuming that only a boob can win since the lesson of 2000 is that competence for the job is not a criterion.) And, personally, I have begun to wonder what effect my watching this mess day-in-and-day-out will have on anything. And the answer is: None. The only effect that will come from my nonparticpation in the news cycle will be a mild stabilizing of my blood pressure, something, as shown in the pie chart in USA Today, that I am completely in favor of.
Back in the early '90s, I dropped out of the news cycle. I stopped reading the paper and stopped watching the news. And lo and behold, I was none the worse for it. My life didn't fall apart. My thoughts could drift to larger, more meaningful things than just whatever the scandal of the moment was, and when a friend of mine would come to me and say, "Did you hear about...?" I could answer, "No," and then give him an entirely different perspective than whatever was current in the media. This usually led to really interesting discussions that gave both of us a refreshed outlook. Both he (nominally a conservative) and I (allegedly a liberal) found that we agreed on much more than we disagreed on or than the media would have led us to believe. People having rational discussions and finding common ground doesn't make a good story.
And so, I will still be blogging when a thought occurs to me. The only difference will be that the ideas might be a little bigger or subtler and not needlessly weighted by the flickering show of current events.