Beyond Politics

Beyond politics (like Russia meddling, Brexit, immigration, Black Lives Matter, #Metoo, refugees, and votes of confidence), I’m trying to follow other stories. They’re mostly natural disasters.

I follow the fires out west, naturally. These directly affect me via the smoke polluting the air. I’ve notice a normalization trend emerging. Although the AQI is unhealthy today, people think, “It’s better than yesterday.” They also go without masks because they didn’t feel anything from their exposure yesterday, last week, and last month. Many don’t seem to understand the long-term impact of breathing air loaded with particulates.

I’m following the Puerto Rico recovery because they’re humans, American citizens, and they’re suffering. I’m following volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in several areas, and flooding in the U.S. and India. Our technology allows us to visit disaster scenes. I’m not certain that this is healthy.

I’m following the job situation and housing market in the U.S. Many don’t recall that the way that unemployment is tracked was changed under Dubya in the early years of this century. The change created a rosier view of the economic. Unemployment is declining, they claim, but then note that real wages are slipping for most Americans, and most Americans can no longer afford a home.

I’m following generational differences. The latest generation hasn’t been given a name yet (perhaps that’s their name, temporarily – the Nameless Generation, a reflection of how unknown they are beyond the basics), and we’re still discovering Gen Z’s trends and tendencies. It’s fascinating to see how they compare with the previous generations in their buying habits and preferences. I encounter Gen Z regularly because they’re usually the ones working in coffee shops and restaurants. They seem just like you and I, but this is also a college town, and most of them are white and come from middle-class to upper-middle-class families. I don’t think they’re necessarily representative of the rest, but I don’t know where to draw the line.

I’m following space developments (no, not the space force, thanks), and the discovery of water and exo-planets, etc. Naturally, I’m also following some cultural develops. Some cultural news seeps into my awareness without trying. It’s hard to avoid it, here in America. I’ve also been reading a lot of interviews with authors, and essays about writing. (I’ve also been contemplating other novels to write. I can’t help myself.)

What about you? What are you following?

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12 thoughts on “Beyond Politics

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  1. I’m following very little in the news. I can quickly drop into the dark crevasse of depression when I dwell on the plight of the victims caught in disasters and accidents, when I see the degradation of compassion in the human race, when I hear the world leaders doing nothing to promote peace. I realize that this is the “head in the sand” approach to news, but for my own mental health, I dwell in the comfort that my faith affords me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m trying to avoid the news, but it’s not working out. As a writer I can’t avoid social media and the news just seeps in everywhere (also my curiosity gets the best of me and I seek stories out). I do enjoy science news, though–it almost always offers reasons for optimism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an excellent way of noticing it – the news seeps in. It’s unavoidable unless we shut ourselves off from everything. Most of what I read or hear triggers urges to know more and clarify, too. It’s tough. I like the science news, too, for about the same reason. Offering reasons for optimism and hope, it’s grounding, too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers

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  3. PS: My humble opinion – it’s not an option not to follow the news – but I’d suggest that we not do it via social media – and that we not do it via 24 hour cable news – two sources that don’t deserve the moniker. Read the newspapers and credible periodicals (WP, NYT, WSJ, The Economist, etc.). That helps me navigate towards informed and relatively balanced opinions. Cheers, Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Social media becomes a vacuum that does critical thinking and awareness a huge disservice. I follow multiple sources around the world, trying to broaden my view from the insular reporting of American sources to beyond our borders. I often compare stories to see how the nuances of reporting vary. With your interest in historic reading, I know you can appreciate that.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Couldn’t agree more – our job as critical thinkers and informed participants is to seek out and understand as many perspectives as possible and then apply our own personal values. Honestly, I’ve very very rarely found a truth I was comfortable with at the far end of any ideological spectrum. My truths are usually found pretty close to the center. Cheers, Brian

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