A.J. Walker


Kicking the American Car Crash Habit

Time is always ticking. In many ways that's the elephant in every room. While we choose to have a lie in, climb up a mountain, ski down a mountain, read a book or watch television whatever we are doing there is that constant countdown to our own personal armageddon - or at least a final checking out. Tick tock.

And yet so many people choose to waste so much time. They are often unable to help themselves. And me, how do I chose to waste it? In the last few months it has been spent with a little too much TV, the stupidest being watching CNN. I mean there is nothing wrong with CNN per se, but after all it is the news network of another country. Looking forward to watching 'The State of America with Kate Bolduan' (or not currently as she's off with babs) and Wolf is daft surely.

I find it a good watch though. They get some interesting people on with daft views to the left and the right of the issues and the arguments are fun. When I say 'issues' obviously that largely means Trump and/or his mates those pesky Russians and his dysfunctional family and oddball corrupt cohorts. The daily grind of twitter stupidity from the dotard and the onward progression of the Mueller investigation both form fabulous grist to the news mill. And I watch it like it matters. I don't even buy newspapers anymore so why do I find myself watching this nonsense from the US?


Suppose watching the car crash of this awful President takes my mind of British politics and the self-harming Brexit phase we are going through. I should be more interested in this local stuff, shouldn't I? Not sure I should.

Years ago I used to buy a broadsheet (any from Times, Gurniad or Independent) every day and I used to watch Question Time - out of interest. But now, I see the odd 'I' small and the Metro - only if one is left next to me on the bus and that's it. As for QT I've given up; why wind myself up watching these liars and shifty characters play games with agendas and feelings. The whole issue with Trump and Brexit and Fake News is all tied up together with the MSN and Twitter and people playing high stakes games to no good end. The politicians announce what they are going to say in a speech in advance - I mean what the hell is that about? It's about controlling the agenda and using the news for soundbites in the knowledge that the news these days doesn't predominantly require journalism; when you see the nine o'clock news reporting people's twitter comments as news they seem to have abdicated their responsibility in that area.

So I don't watch the news. I don't watch Question Time but I watch The State of America. I can only think that it is the equivalent of being unable not to look at a car crash while you're driving past, seeing the carnage and thinking 'there but for the grace of god' and all. Watching the US channel must be like watching that car crash but in the knowledge that it could not affect me; whereas if I watch out British equivalent I'd get the added soul destroying impediment, that kick in the gut feeling, that every one of these decisions and agendas, that all these guys and gals are doing bad stuff to me and everyone around me. Every day.

But now I've got to stop it. Or at least wean myself off it. My daily fix of some Wolf and Bolduan stand-ins is costing me an hour a day at least. That's an hour a day I could be cooking & eating, reading, writing or playing the guitar. An hour a day is valuable and it shouldn't be spent watching the car crash of America under Trump. So tonight I will strum my guitar through a few songs or read a chapter or two of The Underground Railroad or write an hour's worth of the next great British novel.

And the TV will be off.
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