Monday, December 26, 2016

News blackout

I come from a political family. My parents came from politically active families. At the dinner table, we discussed the Vietnam War and Watergate, not the price of bread. My father at the age of almost 91 still religiously reads two newspapers every day and discusses the articles with my mother.  I myself followed events in the recent US election with close attention and voted in every Israeli election since I have been here.

So, it is with great sadness that I have gradually but almost totally entered a self-imposed news blackout. To explain, I am very upset about policies developments around the world, to put it mildly.  I despise what Putin and Erdogan mean for their countries and the entire world. The elections of Natanyahu and Trump have driven me into despair. Their elections depress me not only because of their policies, which are based on negative visions in my opinion, but also because of the large number of people that share and bought that vision. In short, I am politically depressed.

My reaction, alas, has been to withdraw. I do not want to hear about Trump's appointees or Netanyahu's decisions. I know that they will disturb me very much. Like the old Jew in the Warsaw ghetto that kept on complaining that the new landlords did not want to heat the flat and consciously ignored that the Germans were trying to starve the Jews until they could find a more efficient way to kill them, I choose to ignore (not deny) the current situation. I deep in my heart want to wake up in few years to a better world, where tolerance and peace are the norm, not hatred and violence. Of course, I will do my civic duty and support anybody with those ideals but recognize that this is a waiting time until the tide turns, as it always does eventually.

Of course, my news blackout is not total. I still check the scores of my various teams, who also are not doing very well (Lakers, Bengals, Pirates), but there is hope for next year. I do check the weather report as well as look for any changes in the VAT rate since these items has a direct effect on my life. Yet, I refuse to peer into the bigger picture although I know I will bear its consequences no less. I cannot say that my response is very mature or brave but for now it is all I can do. To destroy Descartes, I don't think so it does not exist.

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