I’m honestly not sure how long this post is going to be because, as of right now, I only have one key to being happy. Not that this tip is the only key you need for happiness but it will surely be one you’ll be happy you used. See, I’ve already said “happy” twice, this is going great.

anchorman-600Rule #1: Stop watching the news. All news. Local news. National news. Celebrity news. Just stop, now. I haven’t watched the news in years and guess what. I haven’t missed anything. Nothing has happened that I actually need to know about that has just somehow passed me by.

I love it. I didn’t hear until two weeks after the Super Bowl that Beyonce’s performance had stirred up some sort of manufactured media controversy. And you know what? Realizing that it had been two weeks and this was the first I was hearing about this so-called “news” totally made the rest of my day.

I cut the cord almost two years ago and haven’t looked back since. I think by now enough people know about the alternatives to cable tv and how to go about joining the cord cutters society without turning this into a how-to post. I do have an HD antenna that picks up all of the local channels so I don’t miss real shows like Mike & Molly and 2 Broke Girls.

The other day I accidentally left the television on a network station when the local news came on and the lead story was about two people that were “randomly” slashed with a knife. Miles apart with no evidence of there being any connection to each other but according to the talking heads on the newscast the city was on “high alert”. I live in NYC. Two people getting slashed miles apart isn’t reason to go on high alert, it’s reason to celebrate. There are eight million people in this city and news programs still try their hardest to manufacture fear and drama.

It might sound like I’m saying to just bury your head in the sand and hide from everything. In fact, I’m saying the opposite. Just tighten your circle. Pay attention to your family, your neighbors, your block, your neighborhood. Pay attention to those places where you can affect change and be in the moment with the people around you. Be present.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.


  1. This sounds to me like a real solid. Maybe we can take our faces and our minds (maybe even our souls) out of our phones, phablets, tablets, whatever and actually become human again. Look at each other, interact, communicate. Maybe even instead of listening/hearing what’s wrong with everything, pay more attention to what’s right. I don’t know, just a thought. Thanks James for bringing back slothed and welcome back!



    1. Oops, I thought my last comment was in reply to yours. I guess I missed the button.



  2. Thank you, and you’re right. It’s so strange to imagine that in my lifetime things have changed so much. I didn’t even know anyone in my college who had a cell phone and I’m not even THAT old. I think as the next generation comes around and sees everything and everyone submersed in technology there will be backlash to some extent to maybe even things out a bit.



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