The Only News I Need
I stopped listening to ABC news podcasts. I stopped turning on CNN. I don't even check the death rates in my home county of Los Angeles, if I can manage it.
I had a conversation early in March with a new friend in New York, over beers in a Harlem pub. We talked about not being biologically and psychologically equipped to take in 24/7 global news. For centuries, humans have been relatively uninformed of most major events outside their small corner of the world. Until recently, most groundbreaking 'news' from other countries and continents came months or years after things actually occurred, once the chips had fallen and the most verified story had emerged. Nowadays we get tweets, live feeds and speculative round-the-clock updates from every news network and every kid with a phone. We get viral Instagram and Facebook posts with a ton of traction and zero facts. We get propaganda in innocent-looking packages. We get news anchors and douche-lipped world leaders putting in their two cents on shit they have no experience dealing with.
Well it's hard enough to just wake up and feel solid. To be kind to yourself and the people you live with. To take good care of your home, your body, and your mind. It's hard enough to keep up with just the events that affect your daily grind, and your kids' daily grind, and your parents'. It's hard enough to sort through all the google links and youtube segments and streaming programs and retain the most helpful and well-researched answers. It's hard enough, without 24 hour news ramming the latest opinion and hearsay into your brain.
The only news I personally need, right now, is how you and your family are doing. That's all.
I went through the whole day today, drawing, journalling, cooking, and messaging the people who crossed my mind. I got my dose of important information from my aunt in Saskatewan through a message update me on her and her grandkids. I had a song exchange with my Calgary friend and her hilarious daughter. I Facetimed the couple we would normally be hanging out with if we weren't on lockdown. I got more memes and messages from my happy, recovering Mom, and played phone tag with my brother. I watched songs and monologues from the women of the Beating of Wings Collective. I laughed and loved their creativity and enjoyed seeing that they were all healthy and making the most of their free time. I spoke with my friend and vocal coach. I got a call from a very motivated friend in Connecticut who wants to start holding each other accountable on writing projects (f**k yeah).
Pretty basic stuff, I guess, but I can't think of anything more important than checking in with every past and present homie. Everyone is in a uniquely changed situation. I see people postponing their weddings, losing their jobs, documenting the sirens on the streets of New York, and saying goodbye to loved ones. I also see people making new music, spreading hope and humor, raising awareness for urgent causes, and sharing recipes/fitness tips.
I am awash with the news I really need, and the best part is I'm not too busy to pay attention.