The World From Off Grid, Ctd


A reader quotes me:

But when I ask myself what has changed since I took off, I see nothing truly new. Russia continues to dick around with eastern Ukraine; the latest Sunni insurgency in Iraq has been beaten back a bit, but is still strong; the militarization of the police in the US has been more fully understood after Ferguson (Radley Balko, your hour is now); and the president should never, ever wear a tan suit.

Does that sound too calm an analysis? Maybe, and it usually takes a little time for me to acclimate myself to the news cycle and the conversation. So give me some time to get excitable again.

No, Andrew, you hit on something important. Don’t apologize for it.

Just yesterday I was reading about reactive vs. responsive mindsets. Reactivity is exactly what you’re describing as being “pressed against history’s window”. It’s a short-term, highly excitable state that reacts to each stimulus with equal weight. Responsivity is what you get when you step back, allow yourself to prioritize, and gain perspective before wading back in. It’s the state that allows you to find your authentic voice and your true thoughts, and distinguish them from the echoes of the noise machine. It’s where we all do our best work – and it’s what many of us hope to hear from you more often. Don’t get caught prioritizing speed and quantity over depth and clarity. It’s a bad trade, and one that Buzzfeed will beat you at every time.

That’s my new year’s resolution, actually, since my new year always really begins in September. I’m going to try each day to take a step back from the news cycle – even as the Dish aggressively dissects and analyzes it – and concentrate on writing with more distance and moderation. I couldn’t do it without my wonderful colleagues. And I may fail. But I’m gonna try.

(Photo: Bowie and me watching the tide, not the news)