On addiction (pt.2)

by Pseud O'Nym


I‘ve been thinking about yesterday’s post regarding my previous long-standing addiction to news and reflecting on much of a bellend I must’ve been. A bellend with a sense of superiority based on nothing more than watching television, listening to the radio and reading the paper like most adults do. Except, of course, I watched the right kind of television, listened to the right kind of radio and read the right kind of paper. If anyone thought I was a total news snob, they were kind enough not to say it.

For years I was somehow convinced that if I didn’t keep abreast of news and current affairs then something, I knew not what, would happen. It was an obsession, which like most obsessions happens gradually so that one only realises it’s an obsession when its become one. Well I did. But every Christmas for the last few years I made a conscious decision to avoid all news, as both a present to myself, but more to see not only if I could do it, but if I could, would there be any negative impacts on my life.

My first post of 2020 – in late February – started thusly;

I haven’t posted a blog for a while now, partly due to the fact that each post gets on average fewer readers than Boris’s Johnson has children and partly due to the fact that since last Christmas I’ve been avoiding news bulletins and websites. This has been a conscious decision and yet bizarrely my not paying attention to what is going on doesn’t seem to have had a discernible effect on anything.

I knew I was onto a winner just before – or after — New Year, when my partner asked me what did I think about Megan and Harry? Oh, I said, what have they done now? The notion that they’d done something that some people considered news worthy and were talking about it endlessly came as a shock. Although it has to be said, much less of a shock than me not knowing about it and then me knowing about it and still not caring about it. I may continue in this happy state of blissful ignorance regarding events that have no direct effect on me for the foreseeable.

If only I’d done this years ago, I might’ve been happier in my own skin. The anecdote that follows is indicative only of what a total bellend I was, how far the obsession had taken hold. Some years ago, an American woman was staying at our house for a while and was puzzelled by the fact that I always disappeared up to my room at 11.55pm. ‘He goes up to listen to the news’ she was told, and thinking that ‘listening to the news’ was some kind of euphemism, headed up to my room.

‘What are you doing?’ she asked, when she got there. When I said I was about to ‘listen to the news’, she asked if she could stay. I said she could, at which point she started talking. And talking. And she never shut up.  ‘Which part of me listening to the news,’ I asked through gritted teeth, ‘involves you chatting all over it?’.

Which did the trick!