No news is okay, for a little while


No news is okay, for a little while

By Kevin Kelly - Contributing columnist



Through reasons that were beyond our control, we were without telephone or Internet service for a few days last week. It began late on a Friday afternoon and while we had every confidence the issue would be repaired, there was a wait involved in getting to that point (and thank you, John Elliott of AT&T, for your response to our call for help).

Because the trouble took place just as the weekend started, we were informed it would be a few days before a technician could get to us. That much was understood. What we did for amusement in the meantime was up to us. The loss of the phone wasn’t so bad as the interruption spared us from telemarketers and the like. But unfortunately it meant friends and family couldn’t contact us. And, since we now get our television reception via streaming, that meant no TV either.

Entertainment-wise, I reacquainted myself with my DVD collection, while my wife Beth played games on our desktop device. She also had her recently-purchased cell phone available with apps to catch some of her favorite programming, so we made due with what we had available. But even with what passed for TV, there was no local news to watch or hear, and with the Internet out of service, no coverage of current events on AOL. We still got the newspaper, which is always welcome in our household, but the immediacy of accessing news instantly that we’ve become used to was seriously curtailed.

Beth could still get news channels on her cell so she could keep up with the drama in Washington, but local news and weather didn’t exist for a few days. And that was all right, but only for a little awhile. Having been raised in a family of news junkies and marrying into another of similar tastes, I began to miss my daily dose of information. The national and international scene didn’t concern me overly, but after a couple of days I began to miss hearing about what goes on in and around the tri-county.

Yet, doing without that level of news coverage wasn’t too bad at the start. Sometimes you have to get away from it all in order to appreciate it, and when I’ve not followed my usual regimen of what the local stations or networks offer in the way of news, the old interest kicks in, causing my watching experience to be not only informative but absorbing. For we are inherently curious about our fellow man and what happens in the world around us. When you get too much information, that’s when stepping away carries its own benefits, particularly on the mental side — which is what I say and do about Facebook a lot these days.

My wife rightly considers what she sees and hears on 24/7 news channels as history. Backing away and thinking about we’ve learned from the tube and other sources is, however, critical in understanding what’s going on. I still appreciate an expert’s viewpoint even though it isn’t fashionable with some folks to do so, but I prefer to reach my own conclusions from what I’ve read and heard. Sometimes that requires a little sober reflection, to separate fact from fancy, reality from speculation.

That’s tough when your senses are constantly assaulted with events, analysis and talking heads, so losing access to all of it even for a few hours each day isn’t a bad thing. Or skipping it altogether, if only for a day. And immersing myself in the cinematic mysteries of a past day concerning a Honolulu police detective named Charlie Chan, among others.

***

Lance and Susan Thornton’s proposal to bring a water park and resort to property that comprises the Morgan Mount Vernon Farm and Mansion off U.S. 35 near Southside (Erin Perkins, “Big Plans, Big Business for Mason County,” Sept. 11) is an encouraging sign of progress for the area that we hope attracts enough interested parties to become a reality.

The idea dovetails neatly with efforts to make Point Pleasant and environs a stop for tourists and vacationers, a goal achieved in part with events such as this weekend’s Mothman Festival and the upcoming Battle Days that celebrate local history and legend. The Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp and Resorts facility proposed by the Thorntons provides another dimension to the move to bring people and dollars into the area and is deserving of support.

This statement is made without any benefit to myself but a desire to see Mason County, where I worked for more than a year, progress and diversify its economy by adding to what it now has in terms of employment and generation of revenue. “(O)f all of the businesses I own, this is the most exciting to bring great jobs to a great community, as well as fun,” Lance Thornton said while making his pitch last Monday at the Morgan Mansion.

With a potential to create around 400 jobs, one can only salute the originators’ intentions and the faith of those who choose to support them.

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No news is okay, for a little while

By Kevin Kelly

Contributing columnist

Kevin Kelly, who was affiliated with Ohio Valley Publishing for 21 years, resides in Vinton, Ohio.

Kevin Kelly, who was affiliated with Ohio Valley Publishing for 21 years, resides in Vinton, Ohio.