By Jason Sethre
Fillmore County Journal
My wife and I pretty much only watch the news on TV when we are getting ready for the day. Depending on what’s considered newsworthy, we may even skip the news altogether.
With that said, our evenings are occupied with a family sit-down supper often followed by an aggressive game of cribbage. Not always, but quite often. We don’t necessarily keep track of how many times each person wins, but I’m guessing my wife has won more than myself. What we enjoy during a game of cribbage is the table talk. “This is a game of luck! You always get so lucky! How many double-runs have you had this game?”
This past Wednesday, we had “Wheel of Fortune” on the tele in the kitchen while we were playing cribbage. I won’t tell you who won.
Honestly, at the end of the day, when we are trying to wind down, the last thing we want to consume is all of the negative energy brought on by news of the day. We even discussed how it would be best to stay off of social media.
Over the past year, there has been so much negative information to contend with on a daily basis, I often wish I lived in a cabin in the woods far away from technology and civilization. It would certainly be a much appreciated mental break.
I feel like the majority of stuff I hear about involves people I don’t know and has nothing to do with me. I’ve always felt that the decisions I make personally will affect me more than whomever is elected to any level of government.
When I heard about what happened with a group of people “storming the castle” (a.k.a. The Capitol) on Wednesday, January 6, I thought about the destruction in Minneapolis and many other metropolitan cities at the hands of other groups that occurred over the summer months. Anyone who says one is OK and not the other is a hypocrite. They are both wrong, and the people involved in these acts don’t represent the rest of us. Or at least we shouldn’t let them represent us, as the national media purports.
As the threads of American democracy have unraveled over the past year, we’ve become more influenced by extremism than I can ever recall in my lifetime. It doesn’t mean that we, collectively, have become more extreme. It means that our national media outlets have fueled the fire by giving more attention to extremism. These extremists do not represent the rest of us. I’d like to hope that we are all better than that.
And, extremism begets extremism, as people take to social media. Please stop trying to convince anybody of your ideals on social media. Nobody is winning. I think the world would be a kinder place without all of that banter. If you can’t sit down and talk to a person face-to-face, and have a meaningful and respectful conversation about your perspective, then isn’t it a waste of time for everyone involved? I know I have better things to do than to endlessly argue with people on social media.
Our national media even gives the most attention to extremism spewing from politicians to incite our rage. It’s deliberate. Drama sells, and we buy it. We don’t hear from the most rational politicians. Attention is always given to the most extreme on either side. And, they do not represent the majority of our population.
Our national media seems to be the tail that wags the dog, and we are the dog.
(back to our kitchen)
Playing cribbage is relaxing and yet stimulating. “15-2, 15-4, 15-6, and a pair is 8.” It is simple and fun, unless you get skunked two games in a row.