Everyone I know is on a diet. We are a nation in pursuit of thin. Have you noticed no one’s ever NOT dieting? And there is a diet for every life. Each week a new one: intermittent fasting, Keto, Paleo (does that involve dinosaurs or dating a paleontologist?), all carbs, no carbs, colonics (I think that’s an enema), protein shakes, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Noom, plant based, low carbs, all carbs, low fat, high fat; pick a diet you like and watch the pounds fly off or you get an ulcer. I long for the chocolate icing diet but that is just a dream.
My sister and I went on a Weight Watchers long before Oprah got on a scale. We measured everything all day, every day. Each food carefully and methodically weighed and eaten at exactly the right time. If I had paid half as much attention in chemistry class I might have passed. We calibrated and recalibrated the scales so as to get the ounces exactly correct. The obsessive compulsive really came out in me on this diet. The day we threw away the scales was liberating. And btw, I did not lose any weight but developed a fondness for weights and measures.
I have infobesity! My brain has become fat from information overload
Now, in spite of my obsession with calories, food groups, diets, and my scale, I have become obese. I have infobesity! My brain has become fat from information overload. I’m on the verge of a cranial explosion. Insidious “info calories” have filled my head to the breaking point. All the weight I gained during Covid is in my brain. 24/7 news never stops bombarding me and my gray matter gets fatter and fatter. I fear it’s on the verge of spilling out all over my desk. Gelatinous goo everywhere but it won’t make my brain thinner because it never ends; Info calories are relentless. They come at me from every angle, even endlessly scrolling along the bottom of the screen. I’m reading, I’m listening to podcasts, opinions are flying everywhere, facts are barely relevant and my head is almost too heavy to lift off my pillow. I can no longer differentiate between what is real and what is blather. Blah, blah, blah, blah, was leaving Afghanistan rushed and unplanned? Quick, what does Wolf Blitzer think? He must know the answer, after all he’s got gray hair. Dr. Fauci, should I get a booster? I see you more than my Uncle Morrie. Can you come for Passover but wear a mask or don’t wear a mask, and bring your vaccination card. Hurricanes are rattling the south and east and Anderson Cooper isn’t there anymore in a yellow rain slicker so I feel less informed. Has China hacked my FB page? Should I immediately change my password? And what the hell is my password? Is Kim Jong-un sick or on a really good diet and he should tell us how he lost the weight? I need answers. News spins endlessly in my head. Am I dreaming? Have I fallen down the rabbit hole? Am I Alice ten feet tall?
Who wouldn’t long for a good old-fashioned test pattern?
I fondly and longingly remember the days of six channels. The newscasters were avuncular and calming, not screaming and proclaiming “the sky is falling” all day and night. Have we become a nation of Chicken Littles? I loved the old calm guys and actually wanted to marry Chet Huntley. Walter Cronkite was soothing even in crisis. It was vitriol-free TV. My brain was thinner then. The news, good or bad, was on twice a day and in between were soap operas, cartoons, The Mickey Mouse Club, and Bonanza. I longed to be a Mouseketeer. Annette was my idol and not replaceable by a Kardashian. And blissfully at midnight it all came to an end! Quiet. Who wouldn’t long for a good old-fashioned test pattern?
There’s no peace in 2021. My intake of information bad-brain-calories is constant. It’s all getting blurred in my head like one big endless newscast. Is Pakistan in India or is Pakistan really Uzbekistan, is Texas still a state, and did France move to New Zealand? I hope we don’t have to stop eating french fries again. I have a TV on all day as I don’t want news breaking without me. It’s replaced music. I wonder if Rachel Maddow can sing.
I need an info-diet. Why isn’t there a weight loss program for my brain before it’s too late and my head weighs as much as the rest of me and I look like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float?
Come take my TVs, all of them, and please bring me a chocolate cake.