I listen to the radio a lot while I’m at home. Talk radio, as it’s called. I like the background noise and occasional mental stimulation while I’m doing dishes, or cleaning the venetian blinds, bathroom, what-have-you. If I were better (read: more spiritually upward-bound), I would be listening to shiurim (classes) on tape and calling Chazak (a shiurim via telephone service) much more than listening to the talking voices out of the stereo. Okay, so at least I know where I can improve.
The thing about the radio is that really, most of the stations all talk about the same issues (politically and socially – this doesn’t count the shows NPR does on artists, movies, etc). And most of the stations stick to their party lines, which makes sense. Fine, I get that. However, since I’ve been back from Israel (June 2007), the main topic has been, what else, the election.
And why not? The trajectory and fate of the free world may very well be at stake!!!! That’s how it seems, at least, no matter what I listen to, conservative or liberal. And I’m getting tired of it. I know who I’m voting for, but there’s still two more months of this hevel (emptiness).
I mean, it’s an election year, and so it should follow that half the country loves one side and thinks the other side is going to drag the country into ruin (G-d forbid), or something catastrophic like that. And the other half believes the same about the other side, and then some independents choose someone and we get a new president and that’s that.
The Republicans still stand for basically the same thing, and the Democrats still stand for basically the same thing. Depending on who controls congress, some things may or may not get done, and some changes may or may not get implemented. This is accepted, yes? And barring any real catastrophe (which we fervently pray does NOT happen), things probably won’t be drastically different.
The stations are microscopically discussing the candidates’ every little move, speech, thought, action, history, whatever. However, the actual issues are really not being discussed that much. The main topics seem to center around either the personal life of Sarah Palin, or who said what about who and how the other one is responding. And these are covered in painfully close detail.
Where’s the meat and potatoes? How is anyone supposed to know how the candidates stand on any issue? How are people supposed to make a decision? But, then again, studies have shown that Americans vote for the person with the best hair.
In any case, what I really should be concerned with, and spend my time with, is the preparations for Elul (the Jewish month that we’re in – the last month of the year), the REAL election. Like, am I electing to change for the better this year? Am I electing to use the opportunity of the month to do teshuvah (repent)? Or am I just listening to the media nitpick and postulate on the results of the election? I mean, at the end of the day, we all know that there’s only One who knows the results. And He’s in the fields right now, and the election doesn’t even register as something to occupy time with.
I’m not saying I’ll cold turkey the radio or anything, but I will be popping a few tapes, shiurim, into the tape player in order to inspire, and hopefully help me to grow this year.