It may be time for me to relinquish, at least for the moment, any claim I once held on being a “serious” person. I am using serious here in a political, world-events way. I have become disengaged. It was a slow slide, but it’s been definite. When I read the New York Times I gravitate toward the Arts and the Magazine, and you know what? I don’t feel bad about it anymore, or at least not as guilty as I once did. I listen to NPR in the mornings, but mostly to the human-interest pieces. I have quit all of my political action list-servs and e-mail action alerts. I don’t watch television, including CNN. Recently, I haven’t even been watching “The Daily Show.” I barely even read the first four headlines on Yahoo anymore, going, instead, straight to the last two lines, which are usually reserved for entertainment news, weather, and sports.
I read celebrity gossip columns every day. EVERY day. I am considering buying a T-shirt from gawker.com and actually wearing it. I have no idea who’s being considered in the race for governor here, and I have only the foggiest idea about who’s tossing hats and hearts around for the 2008 campaign, but I can probably list the Oscar favorites by name, director, stars and maybe budget. I’m sure I will be interested in real-world things again, but I’m not sure when or how, and I’m having trouble imagining that I will be involved, again, in campaigning or political causes. Just thinking about politics makes me exhausted. And that’s a line that used to make me want to beat people up, and maybe still does, because I still feel like political involvement is a duty, not a right.
I have no good reason to offer. I wasn’t turned off by the 2004 campaign. I don’t feel any more or less disenfranchised now than I did in 2000. I have more sense of things being at a breaking point now than any time in the recent past, what with Bush continuing his Moron Tour of the World, but… eh. I don’t feel a need to track the demise as closely as I might have in the past.
This would all be worrisome, perhaps, but I’m pretty happy. I may right now be at a happier place than I have been in the last two years. I’m reading more, I’m writing more, I’m listening to music I really enjoy, I’m even talking more, socializing more, going out more. And with that, it’s time to head out to dinner with friends.