He scratches his chin where he just shaved minutes ago, the drone of morning cable news making the air in the apartment seem filled with static. This was the first time he could remember where the thought of canceling his cable service stayed with him overnight, a notion that came when he was moving between the two hundred stations, concentrating on the news and movie outlets, becoming slowly aware that there are, according to the networks, only five or six stories worth covering in the world; Anna Nicole Smith, Don Imus's propensity for stepping in his own piles of crap, Sanjaya Malakar's inscrutable lack of singing talent,, The Virginia Tech Massacre, Alec Baldwin's tirade against his eleven year old daughter. What bothered him wasn't the stories themselves, as they are news and need to be presented and understood in some fashion, but there is a point where there is nothing more to say when nothing more is known but yet the talking heads just keep right on yakking up a storm, pushing other stories off the air. Literally, off the air.
When there is nothing more to report, talking heads present some other "authority" from some hereto-for unheard of blog site, specialty magazine or perhaps a former aid to a senator that once sat on a committee loosely related to the spotlight controversy , who would then be peppered with a series of inane questions he or she didn't have a real answer to. Airtime filled with supposition, best guesses, speculation, old fashioned rumor mongering, all in the name of the public's right to know what is or is not happening to the over famous, the overpaid whose hyper image is out of bounds with anything one recognizes when they finally leave the house, start the car and attempt to navigate traffic as one makes their way to work. I have a job to pay for this seamless and seamy stream of irrelevance? It's possible to watch cable news programming for a whole day and learn nothing at all for the time spent. He twitches. The shirt is stiff and scratchy like a trucker's scabbed fingertips. The tv keeps making the yammering drone of nonsense, and the roof suddenly seems be lowering upon him; is this what a sardine feels like?