Most mornings, i do my reading and then i know exactly what i want to write about -- frequently, a reflection upon the conclusions i've drawn from my experience vs various postings. Today, despite having a list of topics i'd like to write on eventually, i'm less inspired. I'm feeling philosophical rather than tigerish (mentally speaking).
My husband has the television on in another room, and is watching programs of the political/business sort; i can't help but hear snatches of what various people have to say (grrrr). Me, i hate that sort of thing. It brings to clear focus what kind of idiocy is in the world, "leading" us. The only thing i do regularly which is at all analogous to his practice, is reading "news" articles on MSN and other services which i see when logging in and out of email accounts.
"News" pisses me off -- it's so artificial. Instead of important things going on in the world, we hear about entertainment, fifteen-minutes-of-famers, and lifestyle trends. When it comes to the "nightly news" on broadcast television (which i accidentally hear when i'm around my mother for any amount of time), i find that it is presented by "personalities" so vapid, they make my head ache. Their grammar is atrocious, and when they make their idle chatter i am reminded that almost 50% of the world has below-average IQ. ;-)
A number of paleo bloggers and commenters have frankly declared that one of their methods of lowering chronic stress is to unplug from all of this. I don't blame them -- it's tempting to put my fingers in my ears and say "lalalalala" but it concurrently makes me feel uneasy not to know how bad the worst is, in the world in which i live. "Know your enemy."
Then there's facebook: i got so many invitations, a year or two ago, that i started using it. I love being able to keep in touch with friends i had when i lived in different places but the venue encourages a LOT of BS. I've found that a number of people, whom i like "to their faces," are completely unbearable in print. And don't get me started about the games....
I have worked out a few strategies to stay informed and still lower the stress of it all. Seems to me, the best place to read about current events is in a foreign newspaper (London's "The Times" is a good one, as was Mexico City's "The News" when i last accessed it -- it's been awhile). Overseas, journalists are more likely to call a spade a spade in American events, and you will certainly learn more about the rest of the planet.
On the internet front (specifically FB), i block the posts of those who only present sensationalist nonsense. Just say no.
These are toxic people who poison your spirit; they encourage one's worst emotions and reactions, drain one's energy and deplete one's positive feelings like self-confidence, cheerfulness, optimism, JOY. People like this, it would be best just to excise them from one's life like a tumor, but sometimes it's almost impossible to do so. At very least, keep them at arm's-length, emotionally speaking. Don't let them or their message in; don't keep giving them more chances because they'll just wound you again and again. Surround yourself, as best you can, with people and ideas that are uplifting and love-inspiring.
The atmosphere of miserable, hateful, or ill-principled jerks will make you a lesser person, but the proximity of truly good people will improve you -- these characteristics are contagious. Which "bug" would you rather catch?