Unconscious from Too Much News


New York Times 22 August 2018

“Trump Praises Manafort for Refusing to ‘Break,’ Unlike Cohen, His Former Fixer”

“With Cohen Implicating Trump, a Presidency’s Fate Rests With Congress”

“Facebook Identifies New Influence Operations Spanning Globe”

“Bull Market Hits a Milestone: 3,453 Days. Most Americans Aren’t at the Party.”

“Hawaii Braces for Hurricane Lane, a Rare Category 4 Storm”

Of course, there is so much more.

There is the video by a fifth generation coal miner in Virginia who warns that Trump’s deregulation of coal mines will further enrich mine owners, impoverish the miners, and inflict more damage on the environment.

There is the opinion piece by the son of a Memphis policeman who was involved in spying on political activists, then burning files full of reports on that spying, in the year of Dr. King’s assassination. Evidence suggests that the Memphis police department is still doing it.

There is the usual combination of news analysis and editorial commentary about the Roman Catholic priests and the boys, girls, and seminarians they abused.

The Home Page on my browser is the NYTimes online. I routinely scan the headlines and settle in to read the fine writing in the op-ed section.  I am interested in what is going on in my world.

Today I realized that, for the moment at least, I have completely lost interest in all of it.  Donald Trump and the other disasters that plague us have achieved what I think is the most dangerous consequence of this time in our history.  They have dulled us to the worst, most unacceptable behavior by a sitting president. They have rendered us indifferent to poverty, the destruction of the planet, the violation of the rule of law and the Constitution. They have knocked us into unconsciousness at the very time when we most need to be awake, impassioned, ready to campaign and to vote.

All that catalogue of horrors has turned us into a people who are no longer disturbed by horrors.


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