The last few weeks I've been training myself to hear the misinformation of the day, aka the news, with dispassion. I want to be able to hear American news as unengaged as if it were North Korean news. The part of the news that matters in Washington DC is of no relevance to me. I cannot be a participant in democracy because democracy is over. I enjoy listening to BBC international in the night to hear about events in the African countries. Only because Africa is the only part of the world American news never mentions, except for American military involvements in North Africa. Something the government in Sierra Leone did has the same relevance to me as the latest foothold in the American right wing's takeover of the US government. A few of the democrats are attempting to alert us to what is happening, but I'm thinking most of the democrats have their hands in the same pockets as the republicans. What's really going on is taking place on the top floors of skyscrapers and we the people are the ants crawling inline on the ground. Of course, they can't take us seriously. We, the non billionaires, are the same as ants. Step on them--so what? Scorch them with a magnifying glass--so what? Destroy their economy and take all their resources--so what? Pour gasoline down the hole and throw a match on it--so what? I do like to keep abreast of what is behind a sudden surge in yard sales, selling used clothes on facebook, daycare centers closing. Paying attention to current events I have come to see the people playing the headlines game, keeping their faces on the cover of Newsweek, are ruthless and devoid of caring. They're from the dark side. Their way of life is the dark side. By way of life, I mean consciously bleeding our economy. Why should I give them so much attention?
At Sri Aurobindo's center in Pondicherry, on the southeastern coast of India, the room where the international newspapers are read they call the Room of Lies. Gore Vidal's summation of why we have no history is it is written from diaries, journals, letters, memoirs, all of which are self serving, and newspaper articles, which we all know are inaccurate. 1-2-3-therefore: we have no history. Why do I take it as anything but what it is? The news is a corporate daily soap opera that is bigger business than tv football, basketball, baseball, the works. It's a big money tv show. Corporate news has the stamp of approval by level headed businessmen that have our best interest at heart. Like Godzilla had Tokyo's interest at heart. I haven't paid attention to tv news in so many years that when I see something inadvertently at somebody's house or in a restaurant, I'm stunned. They're not touching any subject seriously. Their haiku brevity telling it in the least words possible with a moving picture of a familiar face, an explosion, an image of military might, is impressive when I listen to the script as a concisely written brief documentary poem. Very well paid script writers work backstage. Headlines and images interspersed with commercials for tires and hyper expensive cars, razors, underarm deodorant with ingredients hardly a computer could spell, a peek-a-boo shot between a hot babe's legs on the beach at Cancun with a guy that lifts weights--they're having a rare, expensive beer. When you don't see tv for a long time, it's as hysterical as Sponge Bob Square Pants. We surely are in a time of surrealism. I think of the Hangover movies. They are Marx Brothers funny, and every bit as surrealist.
I watch the race with my friends on Sunday, a commercial comes on, the channel is switched to a football game. A commercial comes on, we're back at the race track, or if commercials are still on the race channel, switch to another football game and watch until the next commercial, then back to the race. I have a ball. I don't know what they're watching, but I'm watching surrealism in everyday life. As I let go of the belief system that more is better, I see the surrealism that comes to us through what we call media. I cannot go there. I can, however, see some tv every once in awhile, like looking at an exhibition of surrealist paintings. It's like watching a movie of tv trends of the present. I cannot give myself over to hypnosis by the corporate media listening to them tell me over and over I'm no good unless I have fill-in-the-blank that I can't afford. I don't want it in my mind and don't want it in my consciousness. Last Sunday I chose not to go see the race because I was in a relaxed place and did not want to enter that mind of coercion to buy something I don't want. It's so bad that after a pit stop, the announcer is required to say, "he filled up with Sunoco racing fuel." Sunoco is funding the race with big money and they want the product mentioned a certain number of times per hour. I know it's all business, it's how things are done, we couldn't have the race without it. Sometimes it's over the edge. I see tv as bringing a continuously changing billboard into my home, my quiet space. I'm not filling up my space with noise about potato chips, mattresses, crappy tacos, windshield wipers, cellphones, stuff, stuff, explosions, none of it anything I want. Sunday was a day I did not want that belief system in my head, even as a folklorist observer.
I rested and worried in the bed between spells of sleep about the donkeys in the cold at night, in the cold rain. I wanted to convert small chicken shack to a shelter for the donkeys. Had to tear out a rotted floor I put in at least 25 years ago and a wall. It's not as complicated as it sounds. I borrowed a power jigsaw that cuts through nails easily. Opened the wall up, no problem. Backed the car down to the barn, tossed a heavy, tightly-packed bale of good hay in the trunk, left the lid up and drove up to a place I could throw the bale over the fence and roll it down to the donkey den. Parked the car, went back to the hay bale, cut the twine and opened the bale for the donkeys. Jenny buried her nose in it. I think she'd eaten baled hay where she lived before. She played with it, loosening it with her dexterous lips, ripping out a mouthful to chew on, chewing it like I'd made her day with a box of chocolates, and it was good hay too. I watched her taste it with her first nibbles, assessing the flavor. A smile came to her face and she picked up another swatch and started chewing. Jack acted like this might have been his first hay bale. He may have eaten from round bales before. He approached the hay with some hesitation, needing to check it out. He saw Jenny chewing on it and he pulled out some to chew. He seemed to be discovering the dried grass, unsure how he was going to like it, and it turned out he liked it. I covered the ground in the shed with hay for them to lie down on through cold winter nights and when the weather is bad. I know they like the ground, but I thought a little insulation might help keep the ground from being so cold. They might decide to eat it. They're welcome to it.