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My Take

Stop the noise

Mark McGee
Posted 9/24/22

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth  

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…  

Those are the opening lines to the poem “High Flight” penned by …

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My Take

Stop the noise

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Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth  

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…  

Those are the opening lines to the poem “High Flight” penned by former Canadian Air Force fighter pilot John Gillespie Magee.  

If you remember those lines and the accompanying video, I immediately know two things about you.  

One, I am happy you are still around and able to read. Second, you were a late-night TV watcher since sign-off for the Nashville television stations was midnight. A static test pattern filled the screen until around 6 a.m. when the morning shows began.  

For most of those too young to remember those lines here are some shockers. There were only three TV stations in Nashville, representing the three major networks. There were four if you counted public television.  

ESPN, offering 24 hours of sports coverage, wouldn’t air until September 7, 1979. Even HBO, in its infancy, was not a 24-hour movie channel. They had a great signoff video before becoming a 24-hour subscription service in 1982, 10 years after it started.  

Yes, there was a time when not every minute of every day was filled with shows and commercials. It may have been when most of us were sleeping but we did get a break. Now, everywhere you turn there is the media. You can’t even fill your car with gas without being bombarded by videos located on the top of the tanks or by announcements to come in and buy two large soft drinks for the price of one.  

The worst noise culprit is either in our hand, in our back pocket or on our belt – the cell phone. Filled with social media, which is finally being recognized by some experts as a source of mental illness, especially for teenagers and young adults, we have endless emails and text messages.  

According to the Review.org website, in a story dated January 24, 2022, the average person checks a cellphone 344 times a day. One thing I am guilty of is I am one of the 71 percent who check the phone within 10 minutes of awakening. Actually, I don’t wait more than a couple of minutes.  

One stat I am not included in is the one where 64 percent use their cell phone while they are on the toilet according to the article. I refuse to do that. There has to be a line drawn somewhere.  

Video games can be an around the clock addiction for many. News is available 24 hours a day on multiple TV stations. You can even shop all night on TV if you want to do it. We may plead for someone to please stop the noise, but we are the only ones who can.  

Turn off the TV. Leave your cell phone off for a day. Your mind will thank you.  

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