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?