Sunday, 29 May 2011

The latest news

Every morning I pick the newspaper up from the door mat (or pull it from the letter box if the paperboy has, as he usually does, failed to push it all the way through) and immediately scan the front page, especially the lead headline. Every evening, shortly before going to bed, I religiously watch the late night news on television (unless, of course, I'm doing something else). Why? What can be so important that I need to know about it at that instant? Why can I not just eat my breakfast and then look at the newspaper, or wait until the morning to find out what happened the day before?

I have just returned from a week at our house in France. No television, no radio, no newspapers, no email or internet. And you know what? I didn't miss any of them one little bit. But when we stopped at a motorway service station I had to read the headlines and as soon as we reached the Channel Tunnel terminal, I walked into the bookshop and read the (English) newspaper headlines as well - just to make sure. Then I watched the television news as usual.

So did I miss anything of immediate importance by being cut off from the news for seven (eight) days? No, of course not. It mattered not a jot that the news of the arrest of a Serbian war criminal - sorry, alleged war criminal - was two or three days old before I heard it. I had gathered that the Apocalypse failed to arrive as predicted. And I don't suppose there was anything else happened that will affect me unduly. But I will still watch the late evening news before I go to bed tonight.