The dogs have had me wondering a lot lately whether ignorance really is bliss.
This train of thought began over the long Independence Day weekend, when I sought freedom from further discourse over whatever vitriolic policies our pseudo-president vomited forth that week. The assault is so scattershot I can barely keep up with the targets anymore.
So I unplugged. I avoided television and radio, and I used my pocket computer only as a camera and to check baseball scores.
I read and wrote and hiked and bought overpriced peaches from a roadside stand (the peaches were later transformed by my better half into a delicious pie that justified the cost). For four glorious, progressively relaxing days I enjoyed a dog-like lack of awareness. But the respite could only last so long, and as soon as I tuned back in I envied the dogs’ perpetual ignorance of politics.
A dog, Will Rogers noted, “does nothing for political reasons.” Though I wish I could train ours to take over my weekly calls and emails to our beleaguered representatives (who include one figurative lapdog).
Over the past few weekends, I’ve repeated the process. No news from Friday night until Monday morning. I’ve found myself more productive, less stressed and perhaps a touch more pleasant to be around.
And then this morning, Sunday, Aug. 13, while I was trying to sneak an innocent peek at the weather, I stumbled across a headline regarding Saturday’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia. I read the articles; I watched the videos. I wondered why this garbage president responds to veiled threats from North Korea with “fire and fury” and “locked and loaded” and other phrases that sound like the titles of 1980s action movies, and with American Nazis—take another moment to process those words—who are responsible for multiple deaths on U.S. soil we get mumbles and “many sides” and the prompt resumption of a golf vacation?
I was thankful the dogs were ignorant of the news, of the Gothic stupidity of this president, of what humans were doing to other humans. And I was thankful to them for reinforcing yet another life lesson: Ignorance is only bliss for the ignorant.