Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My Wasted IQ

Well, I guess it isn't really writer's block or not knowing how to tell stories that is keeping me from posting. I just feel boring lately. Not bored. Just boring. I get up, I work out, I clean, I cook, I change diapers, I wash clothes, I watch a little something on TV, I go to bed. I can often spin these things in a funny or thoughtful direction for you all, but not so much lately. I also feel really sad about my stagnation of knowledge. Can you say that? Yes, I believe you can. "My stagnation of knowledge."

There are all these people out there with these ideas and opinions on things. "Well, I think Obama blah blah ba blah." Or, "I think the economy blahbity blah blah bleh." And I'm like "Who?" or "Is that bad?" Seriously, where do y'all get your news? Because you know me, I am a daytime TV person. I iron or fold laundry or work out during the hours of The Today Show and The View. Now what I can say is that I have learned not to watch these shows. I used to get really fired up, especially when Rosie was on The View. But now I know that no one else cares or watches these things or gives any credence to the opinions expressed on such shows. Plus, they're like 60% commercials. So I tried a little NPR because you know all the cool people listen to NPR. And it bores me to tears. Probably because I can't follow it because I'm so far out of the loop. You really have to dumb things down for me. Which is why something like Fox News would probably be perfect for me. It's like Teletubbies, they just repeat the same stories all day long ("Again!Again!") on like a fifteen minute loop. But alas, we don't have cable. And I don't know who to trust anyway. I mean, people on a lot of shows are just blatantly liberal. Or even the St. Louis paper openly endorses Obama. I mean, what happened to unbiased journalism? Because when I took Journalism classes, not very long ago, they told us to be unbiased. Of course, they also acknowledged that after a while you will likely be true to yourself in one way or another (but that example was more for PR stuff). Anyway, at least a paper that openly endorses a candidate is letting everyone know where they stand. So when you read about this or that, you know with which political ideology they identify. Other papers might slip their opinions in through the back door, so to speak. On the other hand, I don't like the idea of reading crazy right wing extremist stuff that is so often perpetuated by the hard hearted and close minded.

I am so not a grown up. I say this a lot. I know. But I am just not a responsible adult, really. I have no idea what's going on in the world, and really nothing about the world in general. I watch Cash Cab a lot when I'm at the Y, because Cash Cab is just good fun. But I never know the answers. Now maybe I am not someone who can pull trivia-esque answers to mind on the fly. I know I'm not. Today there was a picture of the Kremlin and it was described as the residence of the President of Russian and the cathedrals and palaces were all mentioned and I was like "Doh!" But when the girl guessed the Kremlin, I immediately knew she was right. So that's something, I know what the Kremlin is, sort of. And not much else. I didn't know the last five states admitted to the US. I knew the last two, but everyone knows that. I don't know anything about world geography especially. I should travel. I should get out and meet people. I should buy a money tree and grow it in my back yard and harvest the money every spring to fund my world travels. Or maybe I should just read. Grown ups read. So what do y'all read?


Wrights said...

I can't help you on what to read or watch to give you real news because I am totally in your boat. And, to be honest, I am getting tired of only hearing of Obama and all the political stuff. Does that make me unAmerican? But really, when I do have the chance to relax with a magazine, I just don't want to choose the political ones or watch news shows. I want to read People or watch reruns of Friends. And I can't stand NPR. You're right all the *cool* people in college always *claimed* to LOVE NPR. I don't know if I believe them:)

Anonymous said...

ACK and #$%@ - I just had a Rebekah record length comment, and it got eaten when I tried to sign into my account. So here it is in highlight form:

-I do listen to NPR (no joke; and have since my senior year in college), though now only in the car. I especially like the news summary at the top of each hour, since this includes info on US as well as top world events of the day.
-nytimes.com is my homepage. i only read the articles occasionally but do peruse the headlines when i log on
-the wall street journal, an established conservative newspaper, is now free online (i think); i've meant to switch to this as my homepage but haven't

And as for the STL endorsement of Obama, this is common practice for newspapers. According to an NPR story a few weeks ago (seriously) the endorsement is that of a the editorial board (a minority of the writers) and thus doesn't affect the bias of the paper.

Let's hope this posts this time!


Abby said...

rebekah wright, i am emailing you. i love that you don't like npr too. but do believe them, they listen. boy do they listen!

and hey rebekah fitts, i know you listen to npr, you and anne and annie and ami and all you smarties. my joke was totally directed at you; i was hoping you would laugh. because i called you cool and that seems like the kind of thing you would laugh at :) also, you know the supreme court justices. that blows my mind, man, even if you do have three lawyers in your family.

okay, so good to know about the editorial staff thingy. and can you really see me grasping the wall street journal? i will try. i mean, i just have so many embarrassing questions. does that make sense? there is a lot of general knowledge I would need to be (re)supplied with to understand current events. If i could just admit "why yes, i do have a college degree but i have no idea how many people are in the house of representatives or really anything about the united nations except what the name indicates, that it is lots of nations who are united, and have no idea what any of the Cabinet members actually do, who the Speaker of the House is or what he (she?) does, ditto for the majority leader." Oh wait, I just did admit that. I know, it's shameful. And some of you, I won't name names, have genius husbands who talk to me like I am not an idiot. So please don't tell them that I am, because then I will be embarrassed. I would be embarrassed with y'all too, but you all know too much by now for me to be embarrassed by a little thing like civic ignorance. also, i just looked a lot of these things up on wikipedia. so i know some things now. i have to say that the name mitch mcconnell does not ring a bell. harry reid either. but nancy pelosi, see i would've guessed that right. so that's one thing. still, if you showed me a map of europe without names, i am not so sure i would get very many countries right. and if you showed me a map of africa, i can't guarantee i would get even one. even with the names of the countries, there are so many places i couldn't even tell you what language they speak or even one city in the whole country, certainly not what type of government they have. oh, there was this one question on cash cab about the five most muslim countries. no idea. this is all just too sad. i must go sew and watch the office now. feel free to look down on me now. i am horrified myself.

Fittsy said...

but the deal is, you have to start somewhere. so if you listen to the npr news summary at the top of the hour once a day, you're going to know a whole lot more in just a few days than you do now.

think about it this way: you knew little about cooking, housekeeping and childrearing 8 years ago. But you married and had a baby and started reading and practicing and now you're a pro - but over a long time. And the primary way you've learned is by reading - magazines, books, etc. So if you apply that skill, even just a little bit, to learning anything (current events, country locations, etc.) over time you'll know a whole lot more than you do now.

After reading an article in World, my sister, Bethany, has recently taken the approach of studying an unknown subject for a year, setting the goal of reading 6 books on the subject. (Her first study is colonialism in Africa.) I really like this idea, though I'm pretty sure that I couldn't do that extra reading right now. But maybe I should try???

It's all about baby steps. And btw, I can't speak for the other women that you mentioned, but I don't know the answers to many of things you mentioned above. There's always more to learn....

jennifer h said...

I listen to NPR every chance I get. But as my kids are getting older, when riding in the van, they say, "Can we please turn off the news?"

I suggest listening to Terri Gross's program "Fresh Aire." It is on at lunch time, and she interviews authors and musicians and a variety of famous or noteworthy people. It might appeal to the talk-show lover in you.

BTW, I watch part of the Today Show almost everyday, too.

annie said...

I like Terry Gross's program on NPR. That is all I ever listen to from them. Seriously. I can't stand talk radio -- every time I get in the car and Jon has left a talk show on I turn it off lightning fast. I HATE it. And I hate the news, too. I basically read Peggy Noonan's column in the Wall Street Journal and leave it at that. Jon and Nathan are really into politics but I avoid it totally. Can you tell that I don't really like it? I sort of feel like, why should I figure all of this out when it's going to change tomorrow? It is pitiful, but there are so many other things that matter more to me that current events and who the next president will be. Ah. Who knows. :)

Abby said...

annie, i thought you did listen to npr. i feel much better (for some reason) knowing you don't :) ha ha! well, you know, you're smart, so maybe not listening to npr doesn't automatically make me an imbecile (even though I did just have to look up how to spell imbecile!- i had two l's) and thanks for the recommendation, jennifer. and annie confirms it, so I will have to give it a go.

rebekah, i know you are right. i will try to take some baby steps :) i don' think we should ever expect me to be an expert on current events, but i did stay up until one last night brushing up on european geography, congress, and the supreme court. i feel so enlightened!

courtney said...

Do you want to know the news? B/c really, you could listen to or read a bunch of different news items and if you didn't have a need to know, it wouldn't stick anyway. I mean, you can blog about anything! You have so many talents, interests and opinions- which is great! So, maybe you don't have an affinity for the news of the day. That may change, or it may not. Either way, I know by knowing you that when you want to know about something, you'll find out!! Even though I love the actual newspaper, every paper or opinion journal is online. And that's true about the papers- they are ruled by a biased editorial board and they will choose candidates. It feels like that's cheating, seeing as how they are supposed to present a fair and unbiased report. Oh, well......


Lori Shaffer said...

I agree with Jennifer and Annie - Terri Gross is indeed a breath of Fresh Air.

During college and the years immediately following, I was a die-hard NPR junkie. Even though I didn't always agree with their opinions, I found it challenging to hear another point of view. Not anymore. It makes me crazy, so I don't listen...to ANY news intentionally! I hate politics.

However, there are 2 more NPR programs that I enjoy very much: Car Talk, and Garrison Keillor's Lake Woebegone.

As for talk radio - used to be addicted but, like you, I have more important things to do and think about these days! And I very rarely watch TV for the same reasons...no time and little interest. I definitely don't watch daytime TV! Now that Riesa's here and she watches a ton of that stuff, I can't even stand HEARING it from the other room - I have to turn it down and close the door!

BTW, as to your comment that "grown ups read" - well, usually grown ups with little kids don't read. Your day will come...that is, if you WANT your day to come. And my suggestions: read what you love to read!

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