“News of the World” is the title of the new Tom Hanks movie. It was filmed in New Mexico, my favorite destination. I landed here 64 years ago, and I liked it so much, I’ve stayed. I could not have afforded to leave, should I have wanted to, so it’s a good thing that I like it here. It’s beautiful; culturally rich; rich in natural resources, and my home. It has its problems, but we’re not going to talk about those.
We’re not going to talk about the current “news of the world” either. We can barely take a breath without the news of the world having been atomized and pervasively available to be sucked in as we inhale, causing a coughing fit of fear, frustration and fury. It’s amazing to think of a time when you were only exposed to the news of the world when the rare wandering literate ex-soldier arrived in your town to read aloud the events that were happening when the newspaper he reads from was published. It gives a whole new perspective to “current events.” A flash flood would have washed a town away and rebuilding been completed by the time the news of the flood was shared. Wars would have ended, and unknowing soldiers would still be fighting. Not that the news of the time was not sensationalized (yes, Ms. Montoya, I was paying attention when we studied “Yellow Journalism” in Social Studies), it’s just that for most of the Country’s citizens, it was anything but current by the time they heard it. I remember having to cut an article from the newspaper and take it to my Social Studies class for “Current Events” day. My children (who are now forty-one and thirty-five) did too. I don’t think my grandkids are required to do so. I just don’t know and I’m not going to ask. Again, I’m consciously avoiding current events here (and there).
Back to my love of New Mexico. In New Mexico we still have many places with no internet access or cellphone reception. It’s like heaven. From the small Village of Placitas (home to friends Debra and Jennifer), views include mountain ranges, hills and valleys hundreds of miles away. Inhabitants include aging hippies and affluent yuppies (lots of peas in this village pod – sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Next week, the news of the world has the potential to be either chaotic or conciliatory. I think I will leave the newspaper unread and the television off. I may go for a hike in Placitas. I’m retired, I can do that.