Infophobe

David K. Smith, 31 December 2017

As we stand on the brink of 2018, I'm being reminded of why I live alone in the woods. But now I'm also being converted from a news junkie into an "infophobe," as reports of mass shootings and other violence around the world pour in at an ever-increasing rate. It's as if everyone on Earth has become acutely bi-polar, and we're in the throes of a global negative mood swing.

Let's see, what are the headlines for today, the last day of 2017?

  • Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman: US is closer to nuclear war with North Korea than it has ever been
  • Five Colorado deputies shot, one fatally, while responding to domestic call
  • Houston police find arsenal in man's hotel room hours before New Year's Party
  • Two men charged with murder in horrific quadruple homicide case in New York
  • Two security guards shot to death at hotel-casino in Las Vegas
  • Unarmed Kansas man killed by police was victim of video game prank
  • California city official is gunned down while vacationing in Mexico
  • Suicide bomber kills at least 17 at funeral in Afghanistan
  • Gunmen kill nine in Egypt church attack claimed by ISIL
  • Pope Francis hated 2017, calling it a wasted year of death and lies

That's a lot of bad news to take in all at once (they're all real, grabbed from a news aggregator today around 4 PM). It doesn't help that my personal situation is pretty dire at the moment, what with health and financial difficulties.

On the plus side, though, I'm completely surrounded by trees. And my property is surrounded by still more trees. From where I sit, I cannot see another house, or a paved road, and I would only see another person if I chose to venture beyond my private little sanctuary. The only unexpected guest I'd ever have is a local policeman who likes to check up on me once a month or so. What a lovely gentleman.

So, I'm physically well-isolated from the world's violence, which is quite a blessing. And now I'm growing more inclined to withdraw further still by limiting my intake of information. By and large, world events don't affect me directly, so I cannot see any negative consequence of restricting the amount of news I consume. While I've never liked being uninformed, when world events threaten my already frail emotional health, I'm beginning to see the wisdom in blissful ignorance, as paradoxical as that may sound.

Tell you what, somebody send me a text just before the world is going to blow up. That way I can say goodbye to my cats.

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