Politics & Media
Oct 23, 2020, 05:59AM

News Cycle Anxiety

Add the diagnosis to the DSM.

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As a professional writer for over a quarter century I’m ashamed to say in 2020 I’ve published the lowest number of articles in my life. Why? Not one reason; many. Social unrest caused me to take a look at my own background and privilege, read and listen as much as I could, seek and find ways to learn and improve. The pandemic has rocked the nation and world and created a shocking political divide—while it seems human life should be valued above all, there’s an astonishing carelessness about public health and safety in the face of science, data and facts, in favor of the economy.

While nearly a quarter million lives are lost amidst barely a nod by the fake-Superman President, unborn human life is apparently more highly valued as Republicans see it as their duty to monitor what happens to each and every one, blatantly exaggerating the viewpoints of the left in saying they wish to slaughter newborn babies, which couldn’t be further from the truth. My thought on Roe v. Wade as a Catholic and mother of four has always been this: it’s a life, but it’s no one’s right to tell another woman what to do with her body, especially when the government is doing the telling, and how could we go back to a time when women were dying from illegal abortions?

As an editor at Splice Today, I read news headlines and stories every day and from many sources, not just what the right annoyingly refers to as the “Main Stream Media” or “MSM,” (editorial note: "mainstream" is one word so their acronym is also unsurprisingly incorrect) tellers of actual truth they don’t like hearing. And I don’t get “news” from Facebook memes and badly-made videos. Most journalists don’t scream and fill their work with hate and pro-Trump propaganda a la Hannity and Carlson, they simply report facts to the American public which is unfortunately something the White House has refused to do the last four years. Christ, Fauci made it though six administrations before he needed a security detail because a president came for him to his cult following; terrifying numbers of Americans seem hell bent on spreading a pandemic because of their "herd mentality."

Perhaps many share the news cycle anxiety with me, but this sense of dread, depression and fear that come from simply picking up my phone in the morning to see the latest chapter in the reality show that is our nation is so exhausting that it has nearly silenced me as a writer in recent times. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I check trending Twitter, reading “both sides” on each issue because it’s always interesting to see how lacking in any reason or logic each new day can bring. I listen to what helps soothe my shattered nerves, retweet poignant posts. I don’t spend time on Facebook because I refuse to get into arguments or damage relationships with people I know in real life—I’ve watched it happen, it’s ugly; I can’t change someone’s mind in that racist, homophobic, science-rejecting camp and I sure don’t want one of them trying to change mine. Being polite and quiet is draining too.

I just want it to end. Whether Trump had COVID, minimized it and risked lives or faked it for sympathy or both, I don't care, I just don’t ever want to see him do stupid dramatic political bullshit things like walk up to his Covita balcony and rip off his mask, tell his superspreader crowds he wants to kiss them, or a thousand other horrific things over these four years. I hope Biden wins just so Rachel Maddow can relax and take a day off; she seems exhausted.

As silenced as I have found myself, I couldn’t let 2020 go by without getting some of this anxiety out of my migraine-riddled brain. I’m exhausted too, just from being an American. Do I think Joe Biden is the perfect candidate? Definitely not. (Side note, Kamala is cool as fuck.) But I also don’t think Joe is a personal weapon of mass destruction to our nation and the world. And the criticism of him? That he chartered a damn Amtrak? Trump used the White House for campaign events! He needs to stop running against Biden's son. And they want to call Biden "Mister Rogers" like it’s a bad thing? Biden means I’d be able to sleep again, to write again, to not wake up scared to read headlines, worrying about our country every single day.

November 4 (or whatever day the Supreme Court chooses) will be a beautiful day in the neighborhood because this will all be over. 

Mary McCarthy is Senior Editor of Splice Today. Follow her on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.



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