ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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I've been taking a hiatus from popular culture, to the extent possible without going on a physical retreat.

I mean, I'm already pretty distant from mainstream/popular culture. I watch TV in spurts, don't see a lot of movies, mainly read super lefty news ... but even so, cutting it out leaves a noticeable space in my schedule, and in my mind. I've also been taking a vacation from news in general, as a way to get some perspective and regain my equilibrium after feeling so bruised by the war on women this spring. It has been awesome.

A big part of me feels guilty for not keeping up with what's happening. I don't want to be one of those uninformed Americans who can't locate Canada on a map, or who doesn't know what's going on in the world. On the other hand, taking a break for a month is not going to mean I miss the big picture when I tune back in.

Importantly, I think this is making a positive difference. By getting some distance from popular/mainstream culture, I'm able to externalize its influence rather than internalize it. Rather than feeling shitty about not living up to some imagined standard of beauty, I can see the implicit messaging all over the place that carries that information and simply notice that it's there, and be aware that it's a larger pattern, without letting it into me. Rather than feel dehumanized by the political discussion of women as chattel, I can simply feel outraged by it.

Why have we created such a bad system for ourselves?
Tags: introspection

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