the morning newsPosted: June 20, 2010
It’s a weird feeling to be awake when the morning news comes on.
First off, if you’re dumb enough to intentionally try to experience this for yourself, please, don’t blame me for the bags under your eyes or the sour mood you might experience for the rest of the day. But if you stumble upon this unintentionally, afflicted with insomnia, jet lagged from a journey to China, coming back from a 4 am breakfast with people you kind of do care about, whatever, you’ll know at least a little of what I’m talking about. You’re lying in bed, you’re sitting on a couch; you turn on the television, you see the freshly made up and overly caffeinated faces of two local news anchors lazily tell you about the nonexistent traffic before segueing into a news story about kittens or barbecues (hopefully not both). For me, this whole scenario usually happens around 5 in the morning. It’s around 6 in the morning that I realize the newscasters are using the same story they used from the 5 o’ clock hour.
I have the incredibly bad habit of Staying Up For No Real Reason, more often than not I watch a syndicated episode of Scrubs at around half past 2 in the morning and fall asleep, only to be forced awake by an alarm or someone calling me. It’s one thing to realize you’ve watched the episode of Scrubs they’re showing at around half past two. It’s another to be able to recite, from some dark, slightly disturbing part of your brain, one of the punchlines. What’s entirely different and even a bit disappointing is the feeling you get when you watch news that really isn’t new. It’s the same reporter, in the same Local News Windbreaker, standing in front of a building they’ve been standing in front of for at least a few hours, saying the same thing they said an hour ago before cutting to something that was prerecorded.
Sure, I know I’m not supposed to have the attention span to notice that. I’m supposed to change the channel as soon as I hear that the air outside is approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit, make some toast, and go to work, like a good American should.
What the local news didn’t account for when they were deciding the best way to cut costs was to repeat themselves for just about four hours a day, five days a week, mixing up only the traffic report and on rare occasions the forecast was slightly moronic foreigners like myself who have a knack for noticing niggling details and a bad habit of Staying Up For No Real Reason. What they didn’t account for was the potential for creating a situation in which something is actually happening in the world, something’s changing, and they just decide to repeat the piece they made the night before about some heinous crime. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with informing the masses of some killer on the loose, but damn if I don’t want something new to be forced down my aural pathways and into whatever area of the brain keeps things for small talk.
It’s times when I make those realizations that I also realize I should really try and get more sleep.