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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stick Your Head in the Sand

I've spent over ten years living in Asia. There are lots of pluses and minuses to the expat life, and many of the pluses go by unnoticed.

One that we seldom talk about is what I call the "news blackout."

When you can't read or understand the language of the country around you, you are isolated--some would say "insulated"--from the commentary, punditry, and brouhaha surrounding events in the news.

Oh, we get the basics from the internet. We generally know what happened, to whom, and when, and where. But the speculations on "why" and "how" don't always seep through.

"Did you hear what Commentator A said about Pundit B's comments on the editorial given on such-and-such channel regarding the president's speech?"

That's something you generally won't hear around a dinner table in South China. Even those with cable don't get the sheer mass of "opinion" received by those with the most basic service "back home."

Yes, I've been accused of having my head in the sand (or elsewhere). You know the image, right? It was thought long ago that an ostrich would bury its head in the sand (or hide it in some bushes) and imagine that its whole, gangly body was hidden, and it was therefore safe from predators.

Well, I don't know how safe the opinion blackout here leaves me, but it certainly leaves me happier.

So turn it off from time to time. Establish your own personal blackout. Stick your head in the sand, and stop the noise.

You'll be happier.

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