Why a “Media Blockade” Could be Right for You
By Joe Jarvis - March 12, 2018

There are things that matter, and there are things that you can control. There are few things that matter and that you can control. Focus on these.

For instance, preventing global nuclear war matters. But you cannot control it.

You can control what color car you drive. But this doesn’t really matter.

But eating healthy matters, and you can control it.

The New York Times ran a piece called The Man Who Knew Too Little. He decided to create a news blockade in his life after Trump got elected last year.

He doesn’t engage at all with news anymore. And it has been pretty effective. The only things he has heard about in the last year are the Equifax data breach, something to do with North Korea, and Obamacare back in the news. Otherwise, he has successfully blocked the media from his life.

Democrats, liberals and leftists have coped with this first year of the Trump presidency in lots of ways. Some subsist on the thin gruel of political cartoon shows and online impeachment petitions. Others dwell online in the thrilling place where conspiracy is indistinguishable from truth. Others have been inspired to action, making their first run for public office, taking local action or marching in their first protest rally.

Mr. Hagerman has done the opposite of all of them.

The fact that it’s working for him — “I’m emotionally healthier than I’ve ever felt,” he said — has made him question the very value of being fed each day by the media. Why do we bother tracking faraway political developments and distant campaign speeches? What good comes of it? Why do we read all these tweets anyway?

“I had been paying attention to the news for decades,” Mr. Hagerman said. “And I never did anything with it.”

It doesn’t have to be about Trump. The media was just as aggravating during the Obama years. But Trump is built for the 24-hour news cycle. He thrives on it and pours gasoline on the fire. He knows how to control the conversation, and revels in the attention, good or bad. As a showman, he knows there is no such thing as bad publicity.

But the topics on national news are mostly out of our control. Even the federal elections are really out of our control. I know someone from my old hometown that lost a selectman race by one vote. So maybe small town elections are within your control.

But isn’t this how the government convinces us they are relevant? They just inject themselves into our lives by sheer force. They force their programs on us and force us to pay for them. But that’s not enough. They force “the issues” into our lives through the media, then “force” us to engage in debate, or screaming matches, with everyone who disagrees.

But who cares? Yes, these things matter. It matters that we are forced to spend half our productive time working for the government. But we can’t control the tax rates. We can control where we live, and thus which rates affect us. We can control the structure of our finances and cut the theft down a little more.

I can use cryptocurrencies as much as possible, and encourage individuals to set up their lives for maximum freedom. I can pay enough attention to try to fly above the storm. But I can’t stop the storm.

Of course, we don’t have to go to the same extreme that this man has. But it is a good idea to pay attention to things which make us happy instead of frustrated. What is all the frustration for anyway?

I understand this might come off as a bit contradictory from a news site which regularly shares the terrible things the government is doing. I hope you can take that and understand all the more why to stay out of the swamp. I feel like I can generally be informed about what propaganda is hot this week, without letting it drag me in. Sometimes I am sure I am wrong about that, and my focus is diverted to unimportant things.

Everyone has their different motivations. For me, all the bad news of government shenanigans is all the more reason to disengage and do the individualist thing.

The subject of the Times article found another passion behind his news blockade. He found an abandoned lake in the real estate listings which used to be a strip coal mine. He decided to turn the property into a park that will eventually be donated to the public.

And that is going to be a better gift to society than arguing about politics and voting for one faction over the other.

Because keep in mind that however passionate a person is about politics, they might be wrong! And maybe there is no right when it comes to elections and “civic duties.”

This guy could have tried to petition his town, state, or the federal government to buy that piece of land and fix it up. He could have tried to force other people to pay for what he thinks is a good idea and beneficial contribution to society.

But he didn’t. He just went ahead and decided to take the project on himself.

We could all do that. Instead of wasting time, money, and energy engaging in the political mess, we can go do our thing and make a bigger impact. Feed the hungry, develop technology, farm your land, buy good products–whatever it is that you are passionate about.

A better society will be built by individuals engaging in what they can control, and letting go of what they cannot.

You don’t have to play by the rules of the corrupt politicians, manipulative media, and brainwashed peers.

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  • NobodysaysBOO

    lots of the US citizens do this already, like the ostridge with it’s head in the sand.
    “”I know the American People are much attached to their Government;–I know they would suffer much for its sake;–I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.” — Abraham Lincoln

  • Varangian Guard

    Snooze during the news, cable or otherwise…………read books and add IQ points, or at the very least some ENJOYMENT to your life.

  • Alan777

    What Mr. Hagerman and most people who watch the MSM don’t seem to know or won’t admit to is that the MSM effectively has been blocking or heavily spinning the most meaningful news dramatically leftward for decades. The fact that he chose Trump’s election as a catalyst indicates to me that he was well indoctrinated and heavily drinking the kool-aid prior to it.

  • Dan DePriest

    I agree we have enough to worry over in our narrow spheres to let the media add more congestion. But I firmly disagree that shutting down is a good idea.

    We can’t control, in a primary way, against the emergence of nuclear threats or government policy blunders. But We the People must, MUST be on top of what our elected officials are doing and how faithfully they are executing what we voted them into office to do. They state what their policy views are and what they believe about the direction of the jurisdiction they are campaigning to serve, and we voice our agreement or disagreement with our vote.

    We also must keep an eye on unelected officials because, whether they agree or not, they too are our employees hired to serve OUR interests.

    We the People are the sovereign of the u S of A (a citizen status unique in the world by-the-way) and it is on OUR immutable authority that our elected officials, agents, and agencies act in all publicly funded matters. I humbly respect and support our public servants. But it’s long past time We the People remember that is our servant government that must fearfully respect us, not the other way around.

  • Earn nest

    Ah yes, the Serenity prayer; William Casey, CIA Director 1981-1987

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” You can do worse than toss the radio and TV.

  • JRX

    I had the Salvation Army pick up my TV in 1999 and haven’t touched a newspaper since then.

    I’ve been in finance, even at CEO level, without any need for mainstream news. It’s all crap and mind control. Whatever is important will reach you anyway.

  • SnakePlissken

    I stopped watching the news during the primary elections and don’t miss it at all. I especially no longer watch CNN or Fox News or go to their web sites. One channel is self-righteous people and the other channel is angry people yelling at each other.

  • Col. E. H. R. Green

    “He decided to turn the property into a park that will eventually be donated to the public….This guy could have tried to petition his town, state, or the federal government to buy that piece of land and fix it up. He could have tried to force other people to pay for what he thinks is a good idea and beneficial contribution to society.”

    As long as this guy purchases the land with his own money, arranges for a private trust to own the park as private property, and sets up a trust fund that he and his supporters have voluntarily funded for the park’s perpetual maintenance, and has the trust supplemented by entrance and use fees that visitors will voluntarily pay out of their own pockets, and the park never receives any money forcibly obtained from anyone vial coercive taxation, I have no objection to his donation.

    All too often, people donate land, etc. to the government for “public use” and expect government’s operators to force others via coercive taxation to fund it, in whole or in part, and it consequently becomes a casualty of the Tragedy of the Commons.

  • Samarami

    As most of y’all know, I threw out television and radio many years ago. As a former educator who had denigrated, whined and wrung my hands over students who did not “know-who-their-representative-is”, etc etc; I see political illiteracy as a genuine strength. My representative sits on the committee for photosynthesis. Were it not for that “committee”, neither you nor I would be here on this forum. My President sustains the rotation of the earth on its axis.

    Try explaining that in U.S. History 101. Or to the Trumps of the world.

    Yesterday morning I made my annual trek to Veterans’ Hospital for a brief physical exam in connection with a “study” for which I volunteered many years ago. Only one of the docs showed up (there are normally 3, but you know the bureaucracy as well as do I). She was nonplussed that I take no medications — nor have I ever taken them. I’ve never “filed” a claim for “medicare”. My “stats” are far too good for an 82 year-old.

    And I biked 5 miles to the appointment. With the classic doctor seriousness and “concern”, she asked (admonished): “do you wear a helmet?” I catch hell from those types for never having owned a helmet.

    Here’s a John Hasnas essay I recommend:


  • henrybowmanaz

    Recognizing long ago that news from “authorized” journalists was fake and purposely biased left, I stopped reading and watching mainly to avoid being force-fed lies. Hearing nothing is actually preferable to hearing nothing but lies.

    But also, as this article points out, I did it understanding that it doesn’t affect my life in the least to know that there was a tsunami in Japan or an aircraft hijacking in Bolivia. It’s nothing but a constant stream of deep state fnords designed to raise your anxiety levels and make you willing to agree to stupid “solutions” from your rulers.