News onslaught survival tips
Why does it feel like there is more news today than ever before? It’s like if you found yourself with a surplus of owl skulls — they’re not good or particularly helpful in any way, you have no idea what to do with them all and, if we’re being honest, they’re more than a little creepy when you put them in one big pile.
It’s not enough there’s real news, which is most news, there is also now “fake news” with conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, news-some-people-wish-was-fake and real fake news, which is news that happens in television and movies that is only real to the characters.
In a normal year that isn’t a giant dumpster fire filled with mean-spirited hemorrhoidal hamsters, there may be two or three major national news stories on any given day, making the job of news editors and producers fairly easy when determining what to run. I imagine television, radio and newspaper editors today are like Lloyd Bridges’ character in the movie Airplane, slowly slipping into madness.
Producer: “What should be our headline today?”
News Editor: “I don’t know. All of it? Ask Bob”
*points to Bob*
P: “That’s a fern.”
NE: “He has great ideas! Don’t listen to him, Bob. What’s that, Bob? Bob says we should run the story about Congress voting to literally take away the actual health of children and using the Dark Wand of Transmogrification in order to syphon it into the veins of oil executives and dark money super PAC contributors. “
It’s gotten to the point where anytime ANY notification pops up on my phone my jaw locks, I instantly break out into a cold sweat, get the taste of batteries and begin to think, “Oh what fresh hell is this?” Like the current administration incarcerating immigrant brown children, it just won’t stop, and I can’t seem to stop paying attention to it, no matter how many episodes of Cake Wars I consume. It’s worse than that friend that shows up drunk to parties he was never invited to.
Me (minding my own business at a child’s birthday party): “What a lovely day.”
The News: “PRESIDENT TRUMP FALSELY ACCUSES JIMMY CARTER OF BUILDING A HABITAT HOUSE DESIGNED TO SURVEIL HIM, GIVES SECURITY CLEARANCE TO WHITE HOUSE GUEST LAWN MOWER BOY FOR SHOWING LOYALTY”
Me: “Gosh darn it, news. Here?!”
Here are some tips I’ve found for surviving our new over saturated news world.
– Throw your phone in a volcano. There’s an 80 percent chance Anderson Cooper catches it mid-toss. If this happens, you can try to escape but you won’t. He’ll catch you and turn you into another Anderson Cooper. Soon, the only people left will be a race of Anderson Coopers and the prophesy will be fulfilled.
– Sit down in a beautiful meadow. Notice a cloud. It looks like a dragon. Slowly lay down. Let the ants consume you.
– Find and replace the stolen cursed amulet to set right the proper reality.
– Start your own newspaper. The only thing you print is one Garfield cartoon. It feels so good.
– Unlearn English.
– Go out to a street corner dressed as a “Newsie.” Shout, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” When approached by a curious customer, hand them the season one DVD of Quantum Leap.
– Sacrifice a typewriter to Feme, the God of rumor, report and gossip, with the hope that for you won’t have to hear the name Kellyane Conway for ONE STUPID DAY.
– Develop a cryogenic pod and freeze yourself. Leave a fun note that says, “Do not open until things are all better!” You will never be unfrozen.
– Similar to taste aversion — not wanting to eat a certain food for days or years after once eating it and becoming ill — develop news aversion, whereby any time you’re around news you immediately eat a weird-looking mushroom you found behind your neighbor’s garage. Symptoms may include: blurred vision, searing pain, hearing loss, vomiting and diarrhea, all actions that should block the news story you were about to read. Each of these symptoms are, frankly, preferable to hearing a story about how the government is planning on taking away pre-existing condition protections while probably fixing to come around to slap your non-white pets with a spatula.
– Now that you’ve unlearned English, learn how to communicate with giraffes. Spend all your time with them. Understand them. God, they’re wonderful. So graceful. Sell all your worldly possessions. Wear only brown and white turtlenecks. You live with giraffes now. Your name is Jeff. Jeff the giraffe.
– Become Amish. Look at them with their smug, plain faces living their peaceful lives while joyously oblivious to the horrors that surround them.
– Replace all your televisions with aquariums.
– Spend your days at the local skate park befriending gothy teens. Get swept up in their ne’er-do-well lifestyle. They don’t read news. No, those boys live. They LIVE.
– Ensure coworkers don’t involve you in their daily news discussions by listening to the musical “Hamilton” every morning. When you’re undoubtedly drug into the latest news about Paul Manafort using money he received for selling his stegosaurus-skin thong to bribe a Slytherin to imprison an immigrant you can respond (in song), “Yes, and I can’t believe no one else was in THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED. THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED. THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED.”
– Understand you’re a citizen of this country and it’s your responsibility to be morally disgusted, disheartened and, most of all, informed in order to make educated voting decisions. Sigh disgustedly and begin to envy Canadians and/or toddlers who just get to drink juice and watch cartoons.
Kelly Van De Walle can be reached at