So much of the news isn't. New, that is. I love Bob Dylan's observation, "I prefer old news." There's a feeling of anxiety that shadows our desire to keep informed.
Try reading The Week if you want soundbites from the news, or alternatively just read in-depth analysis or a great book. I believe the effect of taking in so much regurgitated and mainly negative news through the multiple channels of TV, radio, papers, and internet is damaging to our ability to focus for longer periods of time on something more profound. It aggravates the mild form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) that we all have, making us skippers and shallow thinkers.
I particularly notice this when I have a long holiday (also a news holiday) away from the English press in particular, with its back-biting assumption that it's a higher form of thinking to criticize than to praise. A re-thinker is a creator, not a critic. We are what we read, so don't allow your own thinking ability to be polluted by the tired ramblings of cynical journalists.
This week, or this month, take a news holiday. You'll be amazed at (a) how much better you feel, and (b) how little you miss it.
Originally published: Tue 26 Sep 2006