Tuning In and Tuning Out

2 in one week! You guys are lucky! How often am I caught in these writing booms? Who knows. So let’s ride the wave of creativity together. 

As most of the world knows, Daylight Savings Time began causing us all to collectively groan and “Spring Forward”. Get it together, Ben. We’re no longer in an agricultural society. But I digress. Because of this, most of the world is now up before the Sun. I’m up before the Sun now, at least. Much to my dismay. 

But in the darkness I became very much aware of the fact that I block out a great deal of the world with music. Books. Anything that can keep me away from the realities of the world. 

I didn’t become aware of how much ‘noise’ I was creating really until last night. I keep my mp3 player on nearly the highest setting to drown out the noise of the bus’ mechanics and stepping in to my silent apartment for the first time again in hours made me realize, I could clearly hear each word of my music through the feeble earbuds of my mp3 player. It was 10 settings away from max. I needed a change.

So this morning when I woke up, I decided to forgo the mp3 player. The walk this morning wasn’t necessarily any more peaceful. The pink polluted haze that lingered over the city seemed more at home in a post-apocalyptic dystopian anime than it did in an urban setting likely no more or less urban than your own, fair readers. The whirl of cars and capitalism, people living outside of their means. 

I managed this bus ride without my manufactured noise. Letting the people carry on their conversations, eavesdropping when convenient for me. The sounds of industry. The sights, smells and feeling of a city trying so hard to be something that at times, it just isn’t. 

I accepted the noise of the cosmic universal oneness. I let my Transcendental roots show. And I regret it. The world is much better with a soundtrack. My soundtrack. 

Just Don’t Read the News…Constantly

Good evening, Readers. I hope this finds you all well. 

Now, as promised in my dedicated post to Colonel Meow, I did allude to a greater post on news media. Well, folks, here it is. 

Many of you likely start your day like I do. By clicking or opening your favorite source of news. Left or right leaning. Whatever your choice may be. We ingest the news. We take it in. We are hungry for it. We make it a part of our daily routines. Even periodically checking throughout the day at breakneck pace. Now, don’t get me wrong, this practice of taking the news in through various forms an formats from social media, to apps, to newspapers to television has saved, enriched and progressed the lives of millions; myself included. 

But here is where I find myself faltering and concerned with constant pursuit of news. I have grown paranoid. 

It’s hard not to. When you calculate the amount of murders and terrible atrocities of the human condition. It’s hard not to become scared, horrified by what humans can do and are at times subjected to. Murder, violence, arson. These are all a part of daily life, sometimes in your very community. It is mine. Though I struggle to think why it affects me any more now than it did when I was younger. It isn’t as if I moved from one area that is more urban than the other. Not as if crime doesn’t exist in the suburbs. It’s just gently swept under perfectly manicured lawns.

Now, I’m not saying to live in ignorance. I believe us millennials learned that hard way in the wake of social change and global tragedy, that our local new sources were at times unreliable or just damn fictitious. And that couldn’t have come at a better time. Behold, the age of the Internet where I saw first hand those hard-hitting stories. Unfiltered language, uncensored photos of chaos and the evils of humanity. CNN became my first taste of the horrors of the real world.Bodies in streets, outrageous poverty, disease, human-trafficking, drug usage. My first terrible view of the world outside of the green laws and gated world views of my suburban childhood.

I do recommend heavily being connected to the world. But know when enough is enough. I realize around the time of panic and general melancholy…it’s time to turn away from The Huffington Post.     

But don’t live in an ignorant bliss-filled daze. As a Communications major, I was often reading just for class 4-5 daily publications just to keep on track. Not to mention all of the reading I did while a debate student and for senior projects But we should learn from the news. We should gain something. Tragedy shapes us. Makes us stronger. We are to learn from our mistakes and failing as humans. 

So let’s start acting like it. All of us. Myself included.