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I Need a Prescription for Media Overload

“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?” ~ Steven Wright

It’s already happening.  I am losing my grip on reality.

One of my fifth graders asked me yesterday if I knew anything about Kony 2012.  I thought she was talking about some kind of organized protest against the closing of Coney Island.  Or a hotdog.  I made her repeat it three times.

Finally, I had to Google it.  It turned out to be a viral video that the entire world had seen but me.   And not your usual dog-with-a-garbage-can-lid-on-his-head viral video.  A disturbing one about a man forcing children to be brutal soldiers in Uganda.  I’m a little concerned that a ten year old knew all about this.  (Actually, a few of them knew about it.  And had seen it.)  What really bothered me, though – because we all know how self-centered I am – was that I knew nothing about it until she brought it up.  I’m usually on top of these things.  But not this time.

It’s that danged Sirius radio Cap’n Firepants installed in my car.

Before I got satellite radio, I listened to NPR 99% of my driving time.  Partly because I like to be informed about current events.  And partly because there was crap on the local radio stations.

Now that I have so many choices, though, I rarely turn to NPR.   (Apparently, Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” is NOT the only song in the world.) So, now, I get my daily dose of the news watching HLN while I am brushing my teeth in the morning.  Somehow I missed HLN’s in-depth coverage of Kony 2012 – but did get to see two darn cute kindergarten boys from San Antonio, one of whom saved the other from choking on a Cheeto in one of our local school cafeterias.  Oh, and a story about a chicken nugget that looked like George Washington that had a winning bid on eBay of $8,000.  (Don’t panic.  The winner backed out on his bid, so all is not lost.)

I know that I could listen to NPR on my satellite radio, but suddenly being informed does not seem quite as important as listening to an acoustic version of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” on The Coffee House station.  Or listening to comedian Steven Wright thinking out loud about the lack of advertising for string.  And if singing along to Colbie Calliat’s mashup of “Breakeven” and “Chasing Cars” is wrong, well I don’t want to be Wright.

If Robin and Friends on HLN can’t bring me up to speed in the 5 minutes I watch every morning, I guess I’ll just have to depend on my fifth graders to fill me in on all of the human rights atrocities and political sniping that I’m missing from now on as I waste my time getting Sirius.

Are You Suffering from Satellite Radio Syndrome?


Satellite Radio Syndrome is an infectious disease characterized by discontented sighs, quickly progressing to life threatening insults being discharged by the sufferer.

Linked to extended exposure to automobiles equipped with satellite receivers, each variant of the syndrome has it’s own preferred type of carrier, either XM or Sirius.  Either can be serious.  The severity of the disease appears to be directly proportionate to the time spent in the immediate vicinity of these carriers.

The symptoms are the following: eyes drifting toward the center of your dashboard every time you hear a song you don’t know and would like to identify, eyes drifting toward the center of your dashboard every time you hear a song you do know and want to prove to your competitive but insecure self that you identified it correctly, head banging on the steering wheel because you don’t have a satellite radio subscription like your husband/friend/lover/irritating relative and there are actually no words projected onto your air conditioning vent and/or antiquated cd player, head banging on the steering wheel because you have listened to the same six songs being played on the radio for the last month, and a ridiculously high credit card bill because you keep seeking out songs on iTunes that you heard on your husband/friend/lover/irritating relative’s satellite radio station so you can burn a cd to play in your car that does not have annoying ads, sachharine d.j.’s and repetitive songs.

Treatment:  Dump your husband/friend/lover/irritating relative.  Or total their car.  Or pay the guy at the bar in the seedy part of town to steal the car.  Unless they have insurance. In that case, just stick with dumping them.

Possible side effects of treatment: angry husband/friend/etc.. (from hereon to be called Patient Zero), complete ignorance of the existence of any other music that is not Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, or Rihanna, increased thirst for new music, increased nausea/constipation/suicidal thoughts whenever you hear Adele. However, all of these potential side effects are also possible in the instance of forgoing treatment.

Updated treatment as of 9/29/11:  Buy a new car for me the patient that has a satellite receiver and nav system, too.  And make sure it includes any other options Patient Zero contracted during the purchase of his or her auto.  To prevent further outbreaks, select additonal luxuries never before obtained by Patient Zero, such as voice control and an electric trunk closer. 

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