Matt HealeyThursday,13 June 2013

The Snap:

While you are hiking there are a lot of things that are critical to know. Before you set out each day it is good to know what the terrain will look like, the number of miles to the next shelter, and the weather. Given the weather we have had this spring, the weather is easy — rain — but I digress. Because of the need to know information that impacts you immediately while hiking, you tend not to spend a lot of time with the news.

The Download:

Initially that may seam like a problem. After all, there are serious issues facing the US, and as responsible citizens, isn’t it our responsibility to stay informed? We have the questions surrounding the evolving immigration bill. There is the ongoing debate over guns. The revelations of domestic spying — which should surprise no one given the direction the country took starting with the PATRIOT act. Going beyond the political environment there are the questions over the Fed bond buying program and possible slowing of the Chinese economy. If we are not aware of these issues, then aren’t we shirking our responsibilities?

On the surface the answer is yes. But look a millimeter below the surface and you quickly realize the answer is no. The reason for this is that the current news cycle is exactly the same as it was when I left for the Appalachian Trail on April 1st. I have not been paying attention to any of these stories and yet I know exactly what is going on in all of them. All of the problems are still all Obama’s fault according to Fox and still all Boehner’s and the Tea Party’s fault according to MSNBC. The world is still coming to an end, or we are still doing very well, depending on your point of view. Nothing has changed in the last 10 weeks. I suspect that nothing will change in the next 10 weeks. So why should we care? Compound that with the reality that unless you live in a few select congressional districts, then your vote is irrelevant. You get to the realization that there is no reason to pay any attention to what is going on because there is nothing that you can do about any of it. And our elected officials, who can do something, are way too busy in petty partisan fights to do anything about it.

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Image Credit: Flickr


  1. […] know that nothing ever changes. I know that because I wrote about it before. The inspiration for that post was that after a while on trail I tuned into the news and even […]

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