I’m not apathetic — I just don’t care about your opinion anymore
Something cool happened over the past month, or rather it was a confluence of cool things.
As I have written previously, I recently got my diet and exercise groove back while also starting to make more headway in processing the loss of my mother. This kinda/sorta coincided with the beginning of Great Lent (itself the coolest of cool things), which for me means going vegan until Pascha, a practice that has certainly helped keep my daily calorie count down. All of those things in and of themselves were awesome, but something else also happened that has been a tremendous boon to my overall sense of wellbeing.
In a nutshell, I stopped caring what you think or feel about politics and current events. By you I mean the collective you in general, as well as the specific you reading this article.
This was a huge and unexpected development for me as a recovering journalist, an occupation that had included regular opinion columns and editorial writing. From J-School onward, I had been conditioned almost my entire adult life to exalt the very idea being an influencer on any and every topic that happened to pop into my head, and to correct every ‘incorrect’ opinion (in the name of Truth!) that crossed my path. Subconsciously, or sometimes very consciously, I had been harboring some notion about shaping the public conversation around whatever the heck was being discussed, which is actually a narcissistic outlook, as it involves The Writer holding him or herself above the very public he or she is trying to shape.
Although I hadn’t seen the inside of a newsroom for 22 years, this sense of mission around shaping other people’s opinions had lived on via the various blogs I had written in the intervening years, as well as the wars of words I had allowed myself to become embroiled in on social media and in comment sections.
(You can take the boy out of the editorial pages, but you can’t…well, I think you know where I was going with that.)
This was all well and good in the pre-Trump era, but since 2015, my perception of the health of public discourse in North America has taken a severe beating. Regardless of what you think of Trump himself (and…