I recently read a book called Very Hard Choices by Spider Robinson.  One of the main themes (apart from smoking as much weed as possible) was the concept that there is some kind of secret society focused on getting all of us to ignore the world around us and focus on entertainment.  It’s part of their plan to take over the world (or the U.S., at least) without anybody really noticing.  This got me thinking about my own radio listening habits.

On my way into work most mornings I listen to The Current.  It is, as the name implies, a current events show.  The topics tend to vary broadly.  I’ve heard segments on house churches in China, water problems all over the world and the occasional feel-good story about somebody being nice to somebody else for no apparent reason.  The majority of the time, however, the news tends to be bad.

I’ve really become conscious of my news media intake over the last little while.  I will find myself getting bored with a story and switch to a music station or my iPod rather than listening to something that makes me uncomfortable or doesn’t appear to have significant impact on my own life.  I don’t think there is any sort of conspiracy behind this behaviour but I do notice it in myself and wonder if it is widespread.  Are we driving ourselves toward a happily uninformed idiocracy through apathy and failure to involve our minds in important issues?

I thought I had just made up that term but it seems it is the title of a 2006 movie that pretty much is the outcome of my fears.  The fact that Maya Rudolph is one of the stars really cements it for me.  YouTube comment threads also lead me to believe that it may be unavoidable.

chewin’ on a piece of grass