Media Frenzy

Friday 6 May 2005

As you may know, I worked at CNN for a few years. That era saw some of my most venomous rants ever, because I was constantly bombarded with news of people doing things that were stupid, wrong, or both. Looking back, it's a wonder I didn't end up with ulcers or high blood pressure from all that negative energy.

One lesson I learned is that most things that people think are news actually aren't - instead, they're just stupid people doing stupid things. What's really scary is that the current U.S. culture seems to consider this stuff to be important. The average American is more worried about who got voted off of American Idol or what's going to happen to the runaway bride than they are about the economy or world events or a skirmish within a war somewhere else.

Another lesson I learned is that you can't be on top of all that stuff - thinking about it and posting daily rants and opinions just eats you up inside. Since I don't have the power or money to actually do anything about the problems in the world, I've learned to ignore them. This doesn't mean I became a doormat with people walking all over me - it just means that I deal with idiocy on a smaller scale. I won't waste energy complaining about something that happened in, say, Iraq, but I will still go off on the lady in front of me at the grocery store, whose misbehaving kid is screaming at the top of his lungs while the mother ignores him because she's talking on her cell phone. Choose your own example, but hopefully you see what I mean. You've got to pick your battles.

On a writing-related note, consider this question: what if there was a country (e.g. kingdom) where the ruler actually was powerful enough (e.g. archmage) to lay down good law, and then enforce it? You may see this concept materialize in my stories in the distant future.