Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tuning Out but Not Off

I don't think I’m alone in how I feel these days.

There is such an abundance of bad and sad news that I find myself trying to extricate myself from the flow of that sort of information. It’s taking an emotional toll on those of us who are sensitive to the pain of others.

I’m avoiding the scenes of death and destruction because it creates such frustration. I am staying aware of the news but avoiding the repetitious details. It’s not because I don’t care or have lost interest, I do it in self defense of my sanity.

I find myself searching for one reality to distract me from another. I look to the beauty and simplicity of nature for solace. It’s always there waiting for me when I need it, and these days I surely do need it.


Blogger Spadoman said...

PoP...Many are feeling the same way these days. Your plan, to see the better things, is a good one. Like I'm also not forgetting about. Just focusing elsewhere and devising a better plan to help me be patient.


July 27, 2006 3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PoP...I've avoided all the stuff about Israel for a long time...
it seems it all boils down to all sides screaming at each other and talking past one another...
this time it's no exception...

Think all I'll concentrate on is my upcoming fair...
I'm even considering giving CL blog a rest for a few days....
but don't hold me to that one. :)

July 27, 2006 4:17 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I am with you on this one. It's really getting me down. It's getting so bad it's inecscapable. I need to get away.

July 27, 2006 5:08 AM  
Blogger Durward Discussion said...


You are so right. I keep thinking that I should say or do something that would make a difference and just can't come up with a thing.

It isn't just the Middle East but somehow the whole state of humanity.

Maybe if we could all just try to see the beautiful and simple things, we could learn to start treating each other better. Now there's a movement that should be spread around the world.

July 27, 2006 5:41 AM  
Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

After I got out of the Army I stopped watching the news for a long time. I was a Political Science Major at University of Maryland with a focus on international terrorism and international relations. After a while I became so disillusioned with the whole foreign policy process that I stopped watching so I completely know how you feel.

July 27, 2006 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are nights I just can't watch the evening news...I'm on despair overload. Sometimes I feel like I'm being stoned with bad news.

July 27, 2006 8:21 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

You'll find that, on average, those of us on the left are more sensitive to the pain and dispair of others. Our reactions to disasters such as Katrina and the war in Iraq are more focused on the human suffering and needless death than on such abstract areas of combat ops or infratructure damage. It is part of the territory as you grow into a full participant in the dance of life. You begin to feel and appreciate your connectedness to all things and feel their pain and anquish much more acutely. On the upside you also get to share in their love and joy when it happens. The tough thing right now is that the balance is tipped to the "dark side" and we all feel the disturbance in the force to quote Yoda.

July 27, 2006 8:43 AM  
Blogger glenda said...

I was thinking about just this yesterday. As bloggers, we see a heavy load of world problems. I notice that a lot of us move in and out of it, as staying in it all the time is just too hard emotionally.

July 27, 2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger JM said...

Well put; one wants to be connected to the world at large but the details and the negative karma that seems to pervade the daily headlines quickly becomes overwhelming. Your approach seems to make perfect sense and should help you maintain your sanity.

July 27, 2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

I'm in the same boat. All of us have had to sharpen our coping skills and pull out a lot of old ones and dust them off. I admit, I have been scared, anxious, sad beyond belief and full of rage.

July 27, 2006 10:45 AM  
Blogger An Angry Old Broad said...

I think it's just because we're sane,healthy,and pretty rational people that we feel the suffering of others.We're SUPPOSED to,that sorrow we feel is meant to be a clear message of what NOT to do and what doesn't make the world better.It's normal and sane and on the side of good,not a thing wrong with it.Screw anyone who says otherwise because they're not right in the head.I'm not even arguing this point with people anymore.Some shit is just wrong,period.

We're a culture that has no compassion anymore,no wonder so many of us feel out of place or overwhelmed,it's the culture that's sick.We're just fighting the virus,and it's demanding and exhausting just to keep up with wtf is happening,let alone actually getting involved and working to end social injustice(which is the problem,very simply stated).

It's a hard book to find,but Neil Evernden's The Natural Alien helped me SO much to understand that the reason I feel out of sorts and out of place in this world has less to do with me(though I have my baggage to be sure,no one is free,not a one of us)and more to do with how humans have alienated themselves(through culture,religion,governance,etc)from the best parts of human potential.

We aren't meant to be hateful and selfish,to hurt and damage one another.Our purpose for being is exactly the opposite.

When I start feeling like there's simply no hope or I get frustrated,I go make myself useful by helping someone else.It works like a charm.

July 27, 2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Do all of you guys have Partridge Family colored volswagon vans and a regular supplier of weed?

Peace and joy and love are all good when listening to Hendrix, but those of us in the real world would like to find some real solutions.

The left is more sensitive to others? Give that a rest. What the left does is become oversensitive to individual suffering and craft policy around it.

Such as: We should get an immediate cease fire in Lebanon because people died, and I saw this terrible picture of a dead child.

We all cry for these innocents. But to permamently end the violence we need a long term solution, not a short term, make you feel better agreement that will be broken again in 6 months.

Foreign policy is not made with some emotional 1960s "connectivity to all things." It is made with an honest appraisal of the world,along with some reasonable logic to find a conclusion.

Hezbollah is shocked that Israel acted as they did. Do you understand what that means? It means that they wanted to send some rockets, kill some Israelis, make the Israelis pretend to fight back, and then the rest of the world will intervene and impose a ceasefire, whereby Israel is once again, pressured to make concessions to the people who started the latest round of violence.

They miscalculated. People suffer for it. But in the long run, we need a solid solution, not a smiley faced band-aid.

July 27, 2006 11:04 AM  
Blogger sumo said...

Uh...Oh! I just embrace it for what it is...hate it for what it it for what it is...and blog about it for what it is. That way...I can see and hear the bombs coming my way...(because we're kooks here in California)...we'll probably go into the ocean first.

July 27, 2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Pax Romano said...


For the first time in weeks, I did not read the paper at lunch time today. Instead I grabbed a copy of some entertainment rag and read all about the rich and stupid.

I purposefully avoid most political and world views on my Blog, because I think we all need a break from the non-stop barrage of crap coming at us these days.

However you do it, chill and enjoy!

July 27, 2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger poopie said...

I hear ya girl...I'm doing the same thing.

July 27, 2006 12:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've been avoiding the news lately. That's wrong. I need to force myself. I need to know what's going on. If I take my citizenship seriously, I must be informed. I don't need to see all the gross pictures, but I have to know what my country is doing.

I cannot be a critic, if I don't know what's going on. Not paying attention, is how we got in this mess. For the American people to blindly allow GW to do what he has done, is negligent.

Now the people are upset with the administration. Now we understand the lies he has been telling. Now his polls are in the basement. If the American people were paying closer attention before, they would have turned against this President earlier.

Suffer through it, we must stay informed. Then act as we must, to stop this carnage.

If we had not questioned what GW was doing, reality about his actions would NEVER have set in. Thanks to those who were paying attention and exposing his action for the people to make an informed decision.

July 27, 2006 12:43 PM  
Blogger Darwin's Dagger said...

Foreign policy is not made with some emotional 1960s "connectivity to all things." It is made with an honest appraisal of the world,along with some reasonable logic to find a conclusion.

Since when? The heart of American Foreign policy has always been based on two things: racism and a profound lack of understanding of other cultures and other nations. It was George Moron's idea to spread democracy to the Middle East; it was in pursuit of that democracy that the Palestinians elected Hamas; it was in response to the hostility that that duly elected government faced from Israel and the US that Hamas started kidnapping Israeli soldiers; it was that crisis that inspired Hezbollah to strike. It's all the Moron's fault, him and his so-called foreign policy.

July 27, 2006 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

POP - right there with you. It almost hurts to blog, especially this week.

July 27, 2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Darwin, at some point you fell off your own evolutionary progression and bumped your head.

Geaorge Bush is to blame for the Israel-Palestine issue? I hate to break it to you, but that has been going on since 66.B.C. It was NOT inresposne to some form of democracy that Hamas started kidnapping Israeli soldiers. That started in the 1980s. Ever read the Charter that established Hamas? In their own words they have the goal of "obliterating Israel." It has nothing to do with democracy or anything except hatred.

IRAN inspired both groups to strike. They are Iranian funded and act when told to act. It is designed to remove the heat over their nuc weapons program, and to tellt he world that they are players on the world stage, and not relegated to 3rd world status.

Since 1948, our foreign policy has been to try and force ceasefires. It hasn't worked. I applaud a new approach. Let the Israelis do what they need to do to secure their country. I will leave the idiotic statement about racism alone, except to say that we intervened in : Somalia, Liberia, Nicarauga (at least 3 times) Haiti (at least 3 times) Croatia, Bosnia, Lebanon, and countless other places where they don't drink Starbucks and hope for "connectivity" to all things.

I am sure that in the end, Israel will give up the Golan Heights in some attempt to pacify Syria and the rest of the world. This time, we are looking for a long term approach, not something to make everyone feel better.

Man, the education system needs refined.

July 27, 2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

You voiced my thoughts in almost the exact words I would have used. I don't want to ignore the situation, but I can't bear to immerse myself in the coverage of it.

July 27, 2006 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh,Robert links to Michelle Malkin on his blog,that's all I need to know.

July 27, 2006 4:31 PM  
Blogger Blue said...

Wow, PoP--I've been trying to work up a good blog after a few days away, and have been unable to come up with anything, for the exact reasons you and everybody else have mentioned here.

Right now, all I want to do is turn inward. Plus, hang out with Stella, one of the most peaceful things I know to do!

P.S. Stella's other mom takes good care of her while I'm away. But she doesn't get spoiled nearly as much as when I'm here!

July 27, 2006 4:42 PM  
Blogger andante said...

Me, too, darlin'.

I come out of recuperation from surgery and all I hear is death, destruction, and idiocy.

It won't hurt me to hibernate for another couple days, and might do my soul good.

July 27, 2006 5:29 PM  
Blogger concerned citizen said...

I've accused of being flippant in my attitude about the news. it's only to cover up my anxiety. Bad news & politics I hate them both. If you notice I don't comment on politics much.

July 27, 2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Oh, the brave anonymous...always love those. I also link several lib blogs that I love and interact with the owners....i think Malkin is the ONLY conservative link on my page, despite the impression he/she may leave.

I don't think the Israeli action is bad news...I actually see it as positive. Sometimes you just have to fight for the things you believe in. I guess in 1775 all of you would have been Tories.

July 27, 2006 7:53 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

I am sick as a dog with a Killer I am stuck in bed with CNN and MSNBC...and I feel trapped, so I ended up watching old movie clips on YouTube...picked a Fav....Blogged it...come on over POP ( I think we are in the same mood)

July 27, 2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

I thought I was the only one. I have two blogs on purpose so I can get away from the destruction for a while.

Lately, blog #2 hasn't seen much action from me.

July 27, 2006 9:27 PM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

My two cents on the issue.

July 28, 2006 6:21 AM  
Blogger Darwin's Dagger said...


I never said George W. is responsible for the existence of Hamas, their terrorist tactics or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I said he enabled them to acquire legitimacy by encouraging democracy in the Middle-East. They were duly elected by the Palestinian people. When we decided we didn’t like their choice we cut off funding to the most impoverished people on earth. That triggered the current crisis.

As for the racism in American foreign policy, most of the examples of intervention you cite are proof of it, wonderful, white America saving all the stupid little brown people from themselves. Few of those interventions had positive results for the people living in those countries. And when it came to stopping genocide in the 1990’s, we acted to stop the murder of white people in Bosnia and Kosovo, but did little to stop the slaughter of blacks in Rwanda.

The strange thing is that few people who responded to the original post said anything about a cease fire or condemming Israel. I know I didn’t. Most of them just reported being distressed over the conflict. I guess the main difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals actually feel sad about breathing people dying and conservatives only feel sad about a frozen cluster of undifferentiated cells dying.

July 28, 2006 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take all the time you need to rejuvenate. We all have to step back from this crazy place we used to call a world and get into a little space of peace and solace once in awhile.

July 28, 2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger JBlue said...

Lately, I've been feeling overwhelmed by it all, too. I retreat into kids and books. I keep one eye on the news, but I don't allow myself to get submerged in it. You just can't.

July 28, 2006 8:51 AM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

I am taking the week off from any bad news on t.v. or in the papers. Some have pointed out that this is in part how we got here. I just need some R & R from it all.

July 28, 2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger coldH2O said...

I don't agree. Turning away doesn't negate the reality that Bu$hCo is literally destroying the world. That's what happened after VietNam. Many of us went into the woods, bought a "40", built a log house & sauna, had "two cats in the yard", voted for Gus Hall or George McGovern or Jimmy Carter or, or, & look where it got us? That doesn't mean, however, that we don't throw Pale Morning Dun imitation over a feeding brown trout, or pull up a 12 gauge over & under on a rising woodcock or pet the surviving cat. We must not give up.

July 28, 2006 5:22 PM  
Blogger The Culture Ghost said...

The SigOt feels somewhat the same. I filter the news and events for her...she's sick of the death and destruction and can't stomach it.

I attempt to stay "in touch" but I'm beginning to really lose it after 15 minutes of the bullshit...and so the cycle goes.

July 29, 2006 7:05 PM  

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