News Is Not Something We Should Consume Every Hour: A Modest Proposal

You know what I think would massively improve everyone’s life?

Restrict Facebook and Twitter to something you can only interact with for about 45 minutes in one chunk in the morning, and another one hour chunk in the evening, per day.

That’s it. You can go balls-deep on the same nonsense you do today, but only in those two chunks.

Why those two chunks?

Well… think about how we used to consume news. You read the morning paper and/or flipped on the morning news show while you got dressed, or threw on your AM station of choice while you commuted to work.

Then… you generally did not consume any more news for the rest of the day until you got home, in which case you’d watch the evening news over dinner or the 10 o’clock news before bed.

There were occasional changes in this routine; say you were going out for drinks with friends after work. This generally meant that you would NOT RECEIVE ANY NEW NEWS INPUT WHILE YOU WERE OUT. Like, AT ALL. And nobody gave a shit. You’d catch up with the world tomorrow.

So, if I were allowed to do what was proper and nationalize Facebook and Twitter and regulate how they operated, my very first mandate to them would be: hard account time usage locks. You could start your first 45 minute chunk whenever you want, but, once it starts, it runs out in 45 minutes, whether you use it or not. You cannot pause it, it does not roll-over. When it is done, there will be a mandatory one hour minimum gap before you can start your second “evening” chunk of usage. And, again, once you start that one hour, it runs out 60 minutes later, no matter what.

Kid started whining about something and you had to step away and lost your evening hour? Oh well, start fresh tomorrow, you’ll live.

Had to work a late night and never got to start your evening news dump? That’s fine, there will be more news to suffer through tomorrow.

Running late in the morning, didn’t have time to pop open Twitter and catch up and which women they’ve banned most recently for daring to tell someone who said they wanted to rape their mouths to fuck off, while simultaneously also allowing 127 different Nazi accounts to demand you get in an oven? Guess what? That’s right: you’ll live. Catch up during your evening hour. Or even tomorrow.

Get the gist here? It’s not healthy to be tied to the news 24×7. The news media has zero interest in telling you “today’s basically fine, there’s nothing you need to be concerned with, go on with your day, citizen”, even though that is often the case.

Even when it’s NOT the case, such as now since we live in a Trumpian Geohell Late Capitalist Dystopia That Will Not End Until We Are All Gig Economy Serfs Or Dead, the human spirit simply cannot survive a diet of constant news refreshing throughout all waking hours. Yes, the President probably did or said something absolutely awful within the last hour. No, there’s nothing you can do about it, so there’s absolutely no benefit to knowing about that thing RIGHT NOW as opposed to in your next morning or evening News Time Allotment Chunk.

I really think this would be one of those social goods the government needs to get on top of, like banning smoking or cracking down on dads driving kids unseatbelted in the back of the wagon after six-seven scotches at a family dinner party. Nobody benefits from letting the media make us feel terrible all of the time, always. They just know they can wire our brains to want constant stoking of fear and/or pleasure, and they’re increasingly effective at that since we can now all be reached by them all of the time always, which, in retrospect, was a TERRIBLE fucking idea that I wish I had not spent my entire career trying to make possible ūüė¶

Things That Suck: TV’s in the Lunch Room

My main work office recently moved from Lombard to the Tower in Oakbrook. It’s been mostly an upgrade;¬†the commute, so far, seems to be nominally less shitty by a few minutes. The cafeteria here is actually decent and, to date, hasn’t caused any Code Brown incidents. Unlike Lombard’s. Ahem.

So, while the food’s decent, the sitting area for the cafeteria has one glaring flaw:

Mother. Fucking. Televisions.

I like to use my lunch hour to eat, relax, and read. Having the cafeteria here is nice because it means I don’t have to burn 20-30 minutes of my lunch driving somewhere. I’d LOVE to be able to just eat in quiet, read, with the hum of other tables’ conversation around me…

…but no.

Every single goddamned chair in the seating area is in eyesight of a fucking TV screen, which is either blaring fucking ESPN or motherfucking Maury Povich or, depending on how America America is being on a given day (like today), live news updates of the latest mass shooting.

Do you know how NOT relaxing this all is? I can’t even open Twitter on my lunchbreak anymore because something within the first five Tweets I see will spiral me off into a deep depression for the rest of the day, so I’ve given up on that during lunch. Now my choices are:

  1. the screaming inanities of whatever C-Grade morons staff ESPN’s mid-afternoon coverage
  2. the downright-demoralising wails and screechings of someone either:
    • super-pissed at being cheated on
    • super-excited to not be the father
  3. the sad woe of some jackoff in a suit on FOX or CNN gravely stretching about 7 seconds worth of actual information into a stultifyingly repetitive hour of Non-Stop Tragedy Whoring

I honestly don’t see ANYBODY even watching this shit. Everybody’s head down on a phone, book or tablet, or HOLY SHIT¬†actually engaging in conversation with their tablemates. So what the point of the max-volume Windows Into Awfulness even is, I couldn’t tell you.

I’m going to drop the building management out here a note; leave the screens on if you must, but can we nuke the sound?¬†Lunch is supposed to be a relaxing, rejuvenating hour, one that girds me for the back half of Intense Productivity that is my work day.

Instead, I leave in worse shape than the guy who just found out that one-night stand he had seven years ago means he’s the daddy of triplets and owes a metric fuckton of back child support.

The Rehabilitation of Joe Buck: Are You Fucking Kidding Me?

Bill Simmons’ New Website Tries to Convince Us That Joe Buck Is Cool

Uhhhh: No. Fuck no. FUCK. NO.

I know that one of the greatest past-times of folks on the Internet these days is trying to convince other people that things we all know IN OUR GUTS to fucking suck somehow not only don’t fucking suck, but are actually way cool. Shit like 80’s family sitcoms, fuckin’ Hi-C Ectoplasm drinks, new Radiohead albums…

And now we’re going to try this with Joe Buck? No. Just no.¬†Fuck him forever, and fuck the author of this slurp-job panegyric to an awful announcer who should be banished to announcing amateur pole-vaulting qualification trials in Kazakhstan for the rest of his life.

Oh, he’s got an ex-cheerleader wife? Of course he does, he’s an extremely over-paid TV personality who’s embedded in the heart of American sports against all reasonable explanations. Doesn’t make him cool.

Oh, he hangs out with Jon Hamm? Jon Hamm’s great, but he also doesn’t drink anymore, and if you hang out with somebody who doesn’t drink, that’s fuckin’ aces, but it certainly doesn’t bask you in reflected cool or somehow make you not fucking suck at your own job.

Joe is to exciting sports moments what a picture of your nana is to a boner. Joe is to good sports-announcing what an open cold sore is to a swingers’ orgy.

Joe Buck sucks, and this article is bullshit.