Fence ’em out, not in

All in all it’s just another tree and a wall.

Good fences make good neighbors, they say. (Hint: Fences work best if the neighbors keep their gates closed.)

Fences, walls, and gates seem to be keeping deer and Russians out of the yard. But how do we keep the Russians — along with Elon Musk, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ron DeSantis, and the Kardashians, this last a species more invasive than deer, Russians, or kudzu — out of our heads?

A few of us were discussing this via email recently, and I chimed in thusly:

As a lifelong news junkie I hate to say it, but we should all try to pay a little less attention to what they call “news” these days.

Fully half of it is nonsense, and a quarter of it is something we can’t do anything about. The final 25 percent may have some bearing on you and yours, concerning something you can actually get a handle on. It will probably be local news. If you can find any.

What people like me used to call news 40 years ago was still pretty overwhelming on the supply side. We whittled it down and sold it in 24-hour doses, like allergy meds. It could boggle the mind at times, but most folks could take it, learn a little something, form a few defensible opinions.

Now anyone trying to keep up feels like a dog with his head out the window of a hopped-up Honda Civic doing 110 mph coming into the Big I at drunk-thirty on Friday. There’s just too much going on out there for one poor mutt to take in

Imagine my surprise when an industry bigwig agreed with me. Ken Doctor, a media analyst and consultant who is a longtime contributor to Nieman Lab, wrote that he too is trying to fence out the wider world with all its horrors while he focuses on nurturing a startup local news outfit in Santa Cruz, Calif.

I recently talked to an old friend about a project we were working on together. He could hardly engage, so troubled was he by the news from Ukraine. What’s going on in the broader world is bleak, more than enough to depress and deflate us. I’ve put all that in the back of my head because I have little time or room to address national or global issues on which I can have little impact. I’ve been working on Lookout now for more than three years, and it’s the hardest, most consuming thing I’ve done in a 47-year career. But as I, and my peers, focus fiercely on rebuilding our little parts of the planet, we focus on what we can change.

Well. Just goes to show you even a dumb dog can dig up a moldy Milk-Bone now and then, if he can just keep the deer and the Kardashians out of his yard.

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15 Responses to “Fence ’em out, not in”

  1. BruceM Says:

    One wise sage said, “News is what affects what I am going to do today. The rest is only a rumor.”

  2. carl duellman Says:

    if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. who want’s to be outraged all the time? not me so i don’t pay attention.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Will an extra two courses of block keep out the deer? I assume it is the side wall between you and the neighbor. It this keeps going, you can put a roof over the whole yard, pave over the grass, and call it a big ass patio. Some party lights around the perimeter, a bar with BBQ and fridge built in, a few tables and chairs, and Bob’s your uncle. The whole cul-de-sac will gather there in the evenings and scare the deer off. By the way, you are smart.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Probably not. A mule deer can clear eight feet easily, and the wall is slightly shorter on their side. I’ve seen an adult doe clear the arroyo wall at a standing start, and that’s better than six feet.

      Right now we’ve both got our gates closed, and we’ve arranged a few items (the trash and recycling bins on our side) to make hopping them impractical. So far, so good. There’s lots to eat around the ’hood.

      As with locking your bike or your house, the idea is to make the miscreants move on to some easier target.

  4. Shawn Says:

    What was that we were talking about again ? Oh yeah, bacon !

    • Herb from Michigan Says:

      Bacon? Cottage, Canadian or Apple smoked? No Shawn I believe we were talking about Jackson Brown’s tune Lawyers in Love “last night I heard the news from Washington-The Capitol. The Russians escaped while we weren’t watching them-like Russians will”.
      But there’s bacon? Oh boy…

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I just heard Jackson’s “Red Neck Friend” on KUNM’s “Afternoon Free Form.” That’s a nice little rocker I hadn’t heard in a while. David Lindley on slide guitar, Glenn Frey on backup vocals, Jim Keltner on drums.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        Ah Jim Keltner-a drummer’s drummer. Man he graced many a studio session with the bigs. Understated mostly but could bring rain when needed or required. He once claimed the most under rated drummer was BJ Wilson from Procol Harum. I agree.What many believe were double tracked drum riffs were not-he was just wicked good at pounding the skins.

        • Herb from Michigan Says:

          and in regards to Procol Harum I would have loved to have been able to sit down Keith Reid their lyricist with POG. There is a little of each other in their writing in that they are well read, learned and have that razor humor that comes out of godknowswhere. I’ll bet the room would have caught fire…

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          Hey Herb, how’s trick in Motor City? I tried to find a video of Keltnor, Dunn, and Cropper putting down a groove but was unsuccessful. But, if Booker T and Stax thought he was a great drummer, it’s hard to argue with that.

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Short of an Abraham Lincoln Brigade, we can’t do much about what the Russians are doing to the Ukraine. Then again, I’m often tempted to say its worth going out in a blaze of glory and going over there. If I were not such a coward.

    You do what you can locally. And wish you could get a clean shot at Vladamir Putin with that AR in the safe.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Now we have the Tunnel fire in Flagstaff and the Crooks fire by Prescott. Red flag tomorrow and breezy today. Damn, it’s only April.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Fires ever’ whichaway. Up in Colorado, Monte Vista had one that started in town and made a helluva mess. Couple more up along the Front Strange. And we got a bunch of ’em here in New Mexico too, three or four of them starting in the bosque between Belen and The Duck! City. It’s the New Normal, I guess. Keep that go-bag up to date and where you can find it in a hurry.

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