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Week 1, Day 2: The Last to Know

At 6:30, I was just wrapping up my workday and heading out for dinner with a friend when the following IM exchange began:

Friend: “Did you hear about the murder over here at Yale? I think it’s been all over the news.”
Me: “No! I’m not watching TV this week. What happened?”
Friend: “My friend in Austria heard about it…”

It was a bit disconcerting to have the person that was impacted by the bad thing be the one telling me that it happened.  Any other week, I’d likely have heard about it already and had been on the phone to her making sure that she was OK.  Being taken out of the loop of friendship/support by virtue of not watching the news was a bit of a shocker.  Also, apparently Patrick Swayze kicked the bucket. Who knew? (Well, everyone but me – it seemed.)

This made me think about another friend of mine who had surgery and was barely conscious for about two weeks after 9/11.  Her lack of involvement in the media frenzy to follow has provided for a fairly fascinating outsider experience.  She missed the shock of the moment of impact, the confusing hours of not knowing what was happening, the terror and the panic — and she missed the wide-eyed societal bonding that came to pass over the weeks that followed as we all sat glued to our respective TV Sets, soaking in the graphic images and the endless hours of repetitive journalism.  Of course, she’s seen the images now, and heard others’ experiences, but not having been present in the actual moment means she’ll never really know that sort of connection with the folks who did. It also gives her a different viewpoint, and an innate objectivity about the political ramifications that were to follow.

Granted, my missing a celebrity death and a campus murder are not even remotely to scale with the enormous shared experience that was 9/11 — but it’s interesting to think about what a life without instant access to developing news actually means for a person in terms of relatability on a daily basis.  This continues to be an interesting week.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 28 September, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I *so* relate to this topic. I am always doing stuff while doing other stuff. But, if I sit down to just relax and watch TV I often get way less done, as it is so hard to then get up and start working. Sometimes I give myself a time limit. Like I have to stop and just watch some tv at ten or something like that. If I don’t I am too wound up with ideas and task lists to sleep.

    I am so completely overwhelmed with stuff to do and wonder how anyone keeps up. The lists of must do and project ideas and maintenance are way too long.

    I find most of this stuff you missed out on I get from Yahoo front page or other people post about. It is very hard to *not* know stuff like this anymore, even without tv.

    Really enjoying these posts. :-)

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  • SansLux.com is an exploration of luxury and necessity. Each week I will give up one item or habit & blog about my experience.