Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Attention Span of a Dog

I discovered some time ago that my attention span isn't what it used to be, especially when it comes to reading non-fiction.  While Facebook links to many news articles, when I follow such a link it seems that these days I'm expecting a summary of something rather than a full length article that drones on and on with details.  I find myself with growing impatience closing out of half-read web links when they extend past what I consider a reasonable ending, much as I tune out a homily on a Sunday when the priest seems to be enjoying the sound of his own voice long past what could and should have been a good ending point only to repeat in different words something that he already hammered home a half dozen times.  At such times I'm glad to be seated beside close relatives who will give me a well placed elbow to the ribs should they hear a snore coming out of me.

While reading used to be something I loved to do,
I'm more of a book-end these days than a book worm.

Much to my horror I've discovered that I am much more in tune with Facebook memes and single declarative sentences than I am with full news articles.  It seems that we are being bombarded with news articles as of late that are more or less reiterations of the same old topics with which the liberal media choose to assail us.  As such, I'm just sick and tired of flipping the same coin over and over in hopes that one of the sides will miraculously be different if I give it just one more flip.  It's just not happening, and with presidential election campaigns already in full swing in some circles it's only going to get worse.  I'm already not listening to what Donald Trump and the great Hillary are saying at all because I'm just tired of them or because they're saying things I don't want to hear.

I remember English 101 in college all too well considering that I'm almost 40 years beyond it, but Mrs. Kerr drilled it into me that a good composition makes a thesis statement and then seeks to convince the reader in subsequent sections that the thesis is a sound one.

To be certain, many good writers follow just that formula when writing for news publications and the web.  Perhaps I've just grown tired of that same old format, or maybe it's that I've become sufficiently jaded so as to judge the merit of an article based on whether I already agree or disagree with its thesis.

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I learned over time that when I write I tend to think differently and thus make my own thoughts clearer for myself.  The ending of what I wrote above this last picture, I think, sums it all up for me.  I'm not at a point in life where I'm looking to have my beliefs challenged or wrestled with and if one is seeking to drag me from my comfort zone, I'm not going to continue reading what he writes.

I've been reading fictional stories about the Amish at times over the course of the past few months, and the profundity of their simplicity astounds me.  They simply do certain things as they do them because the means whereby they accomplish what needs to be accomplished is all laid out in their belief system.  They don't need to reinvent the wheel every time they need to raise a barn.  There's a way to do it, and anybody who has a pen and an opinion doesn't need to come along to tell them that there's a better or a different way to do it.

Maybe that's where I am in my own life.  I know what I want to know - what I need to know.  Isn't there a time when one becomes sufficiently old so as to be respected for one's wisdom?  Doesn't each of us get to a point in time when he doesn't need to consider other opinions because he just knows that his are right for him?  Pragmatic, to be certain, but I don't want to go to my grave considering varying thoughts about EVERYTHING rather than to enjoy my time attending to the things that are important to me.

I'm digging in my heels to a degree by doing what I want to do and turning a deaf ear to those who would try to even suggest that I think about this or ponder that.  Pig headed?  Maybe.  Closed minded?  To be sure.  But I've had enough of others' two cents especially when I'm not holding out my hand for it.

And so, if I don't finish reading articles in the news or on the web simply because I don't like what their authors are saying or grow bored with their saying it, so be it. 

Yes, here I am "assailing" you with my opinion in spite of all I've said.  If you made it to this sentence, thanks for reading!


Paul Smith said...

I find myself irritated by the articles that say "such and such occured, then THIS happens!", or the headline claims that I'll be shocked by what such and such a person did. The great king Solomon said it best: "That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun."

Joe said...

Oh, I know the ones you mean, Paul. Always promising to make my jaw drop to the floor and then delivering mostly postage stamp sized ads promising the modern day equivalents of snake oil. "Try this one simple trick to cure diabetes!" and the like. You're absolutely right about that "nothing new under the sun." They're just using the internet instead of that wagon pulled by a horse with "Dr. Jackson's Cure All" emblazoned on the side.