An overheard conversation:
- "Did you read about Tom and Nicole in Liz Smith's column in Newsday?"
- "Of course I did and did you see what William Safire said about Ehud Barak in the Op-Ed page of the New York Times?"
- "Sure, I read his column, what do you think I am living under a rock?"
- Blah - blah - blah - blah!
These two people, ostensibly involved in a discussion of current events are suffering from a disease called "Common Sources." Both are parroting what they have gleaned from close available media. In other words, they read the same newspapers, watch the same television programs, tune into the same radio programs, read the same movie reviews and, in general, are having a discussion with themselves.
"Common Sources" are not necessarily bad or an inaccurate reading of events. In the same social milieu there are usually no surprises, no scoops and just a rehashing of obvious stories.
The cure for this "ho-hum" situation lies in the term called "intellectual curiosity." A trip to a Manhattan museum, (not necessarily the major ones - The Metropolitan - MOMA) may help one break out of this rut. Finding a book not on the New York Times Book Review List is another method of breakout. Recommended: The Strand Book Shop (Broadway and 12th). An off-the-beaten track of a movie house not playing the usual drivel can be very rewarding. Do not give in to the hyperbole of full page advertisements in the movie listings. Do a little research. Read more than one review. You will sometimes come up with a winner that you have researched and selected and it will give you an emotional charge.
In other words "Get off the Bandwagon!"
It requires work and it requires insight but do not be afraid to use your intelligence. The rewards are really great!
P.S. - It can be fun too!