Saturday, January 28, 2017

Things to Do 2017. Part One: Distractions

For those of us afflicted with cognitive impairment, what is the best way of ensuring that we don't forget what we are supposed or have been asked to do? Any attempt to answer this question must first tackle the equally vexed question of how to overcome the distractions preventing us from confronting the challenge in the first place.

It is for once in a while easy for me to identify these distractions as they are in fact the very same siren calls that prevent me from pursuing this line of enquiry now! In the digital world, which is where I reside most of the time nowadays, the distractions may be one or more of the following:
⁃ The news, i.e. an unbelieving yet obsessive tracking of the latest developments in the Donald Trump Story. This in turn will lead me to leave the august pages of the the New York Times and the Guardian in search of the like-minded but less refined columns of the Daily Beast, Vox or the Huffington Post. I might even be tempted to take a walk on the wild side and look in on the certifiably deranged or the damned at Fox News and Breitbart News. If I'm not very careful, I could easily spend the whole day allowing Trump to make me more and more angry and helpless. When they say that in America anyone can become president I know exactly what they mean. It's a sobering thought to realise that Trump is scarcely any younger than me. Is his mental and physical health better than mine? I hope not. Well, I could go on like this until the wall comes up or down, but I should never forget that this is a family blog, if that.
⁃ My inbox. Emails have become few and far between since I stopped working and started blogging, and I have noticed that if you don't send any out you won't get any back. I might get the odd message from the Army & Navy Stores which is where Steve Bannon likes to buy his combat fatigues in the summer sales, but that's about it.
⁃ My bank "balance". No suspicious movements of funds there, just a fairly polite "reminder" from the manager.
⁃ The weather forecast? Yes indeed, but I resent having to wade through oceans of advertising before I can get to the drizzle. It is nowadays virtually impossible to tell real news let alone fake news from advertisements. All I can say is that if commercials are as dishonest as the communiqu├ęs of the non-commercial world then we're all in a bad way. Does this explain why so many politicians start life as car salesmen and vice versa? Thank goodness we've still got the banks.
⁃ What else? The Oscars? Please.

In my next post, I shall discuss how I set about drawing up my list of things to do in the face of these distractions

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