Turn Off the TV Before Taking Your Nap

I learned something new today. Don’t take an extended afternoon nap with CNN on during the largest deadly global crisis most of us will experience in our lifetime.

I’m not going to bore everyone with my unorthodox sleep patterns over the last 30 years, but when you couple a guy with bipolar disorder that has almost always run to the manic side of things, meaning I only have needed 4-5 hours a night for most of my life (2 hours is fine during the over-the-top manic times, but those almost never happen anymore) and a guy who has either owned his own businesses, been in charge at those he didn’t own, or work as a freelancer/ghostwriter for the last 20 years and you’ve got a guy who does not really adhere to any hard-and-fast sleeping schedule. Most days now, it’s 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and a 2-hour nap in the late morning.

I mention this because I rarely am not in REM sleep when I am sleeping, but my REM is very light. I am the most lucid dreamer I’ve ever met, to the point I’ve actually taken part in two sleep studies over the years because experts have wondered if I’m full of shit when I tell them how I can control 50% of my dreams without disrupting them. I don’t decide on the place, the characters or the theme (almost all my dreams have some kind of goal or objective, even if it’s as dumb as “get home.” I can mostly control how I get home. I can’t control the fact it’s 1987 and George Michael is with me.

The point is that the stuff we’re hearing on TV now is doomsday-level stuff reserved for movies that I don’t like because they’re unrealistic. And word to the wise, now is not the time for pandemic movies like 28 Days Later or I Am Legend. As I slept and would be dreaming, the sounds of CNN kept sprinkling my dreams, turning them into pandemic disaster movies. I don’t have nightmares in the classical sense because I don’t let them get that far, but these were very disconcerting. When I woke up, I looked at the side of the screen that has the death total and the state of a horrible lack of preparedness we’re in. Today, a million people will become infected worldwide. That number will soon be just America…like probably next week at this time assuming we can do the tests. The final American death tally is expected to be between 80,000 and 200,000. We’re now at 6,000.

Rarely do we get to know when the most historic events of our lives are unfolding around us. This is THE MOST historic…and tragic…and we’re only in the very early days. I think it some ways, it may be better that the White House just tacks on 15 days to the “Get Through the Pandemic Program” every couple weeks. Nobody wants to see a “180 Days to Get Through the Pandemic Program” started. It’s too unfathomable. We keep pretending schools are going to open on May 1. They’re not. They’re done. But it’s better to just push it along a little and let us live in two-week, instead of four-month chunks. They can come on TV and pitch catchphrases like “flatten the curve” but anybody can tell you that’s a concept and something we’ll never know if we did or not.  I guess as long as we feel like we’re helping, it’s better than feeling helpless.

People watch Fox News to be told that despite the problems, Donald Trump is doing a great job and is a great man. People watch MSNBC to be told that Donald Trump is a failure as a President and as a human being. CNN is really just about the facts. I think that’s why Donald Trump dislikes it the most. Fox News and MSNBC are different sides of the same coin. They bully the other political party. And it gets great ratings. CNN is more a legit news organization, the kind I used to work for. They still exist, even if the partisan types don’t realize it, or don’t want to because it hurts their talking points.

CNN just repeatedly points out, using data and videotape, we were ill-prepared as a country and that Trump can’t claim he hasn’t said certain things because we have videotape. No president or administration would have been prepared for this, Republican or Democrat. As I wrote in an earlier entry, I don’t blame Trump for what happened as I think you’ve seen a guy who is generally optimistic, can handle his foes and has always had the resources to tackle his problems in life. He doesn’t now. That’s not his fault, but his reaction to it hasn’t been stellar. If the facts don’t fit your narrative, just call them fake has been his go-to strategy. It’s a tactic that sadly, so many Americans have bought hook, line and sinker. “I don’t like the news, so it’s not real!” We’re all human though, need to really see that in times like this, and I’ll likely write about that another day.

It’s hard to be a real leader in massive times of crisis when you’re built to be a leader in times of prosperity. Bill Clinton, another questionable human, was the right guy for the country at that time he served, just like Ronald Reagan, JFK, Truman and FDR were for their times. (And bonus points to LBJ – he did more for civil rights than anyone in history,  despite his Vietnam record, but that’s another entry). Donald Trump would have done very well during those Clinton years. But these aren’t those years, and CNN taking an objective position, unlike Fox News or MSNBC, is not good for a president like Clinton or Trump in a time the world is falling to pieces and charisma can’t save it.

Most importantly though, do not fall asleep with CNN on.

 

 

13 thoughts on “Turn Off the TV Before Taking Your Nap

      1. Yeah, I’ve been surprised at the short-sightedness of a surprising amount of people besides Trump. Like people I’ve heard on podcasts, not looking far enough ahead. Of course we’re talking a timescale of a year, as long as that’s the timescale to produce a vaccine, and manufacture enough of it. It makes me feel better to discuss these scenarios which are obvious or probable, but opportunities to do so are few! You just can’t cling on to what you knew, all those career plans you made etc. Perhaps they will survive, but now it’s about surviving and adapting one day at a time!

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      2. I agree, that breaking it up into 2-week chunks is probably better! I also think a lot of this talk by politicians and people in charge of things, is about keeping markets/shares stronger. If one country is talking of a year-long lockdown and others of weeks or months, the economy of the one saying they might be locked down for a year will suffer more relative to the others.

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      3. I also think that humans a) are generally positive creatures and function better with fake good news rather than real bad news and b) view themselves outside the purview of Mother Nature’s control unless they attach “God” to it. So, the smart money is on saying that things are going to be better real soon because God is here to watch us. There’s nothing provable in that sentence.

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      4. Life has changed. I love how everyone is waking up to politics. In Australia the government have suddenly raised the Jobseeker payment to a livable wage due to all of the industry and job losses.

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  1. Are you saying you’re actually aware you’re dreaming and therefore can make whatever you want to happen in it happen without consequences? I’m never able to say in a dream “This is a dream.” No matter how implausible the plot twists, I’m never in control. Maybe try napping with the food channel on, instead.

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    1. I’m long beyond saying “this is a dream”. It’s just understood. It’s kind of like I’m writing the dream as if it were a story, but someone else started the story. I actually find tv golf to be the most soothing thing to listen to when I sleep.

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  2. I agree about the news stations and have told people those same views on it. I don’t have cable right now so I’m relying on internet news sources. I have noticed during all this it’s harder for me to fall asleep and I’m more on the depressive side of things usually.

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    1. I’m not really depressed. I’m worried someone I love will get it and I’m angry so many people in both sides who still think it’s yet another tool to be used to play politics

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  3. Here we are not being told that it is not real or that it will end soon. They say that we are in full crisis but still at the beginning of it. Still they follow up the situation (very good) but prolong the quarantine with 14 days with an option for a month. So that is till the 3th of May. I myself find that confusing as I’m told to prepare to go job hunting and to polish my cv and we all know, on the other hand, that is isn’t over in May. I think it will be around till the end of the year if a new corona doesn’t show his presence again. It is just unpredictable at this point but people still want to say that they know what is going to happen. The human mind …

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    1. People need to explain things… how do you think religion developed? The tribal elders recognized they could chill the others out and control them if they pretended to have answers, or a communication with the God that does.

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