What Do You Now Ignore With Impunity?

 

Getting old can be a pain (both literally and figuratively). But there are some good things: Hair care takes no more than a few seconds daily, no more raging hormones, dramatically reduced need to impress others, being able to yell at the neighbor kids when they get on my lawn (I’ve not exercised this privilege, but it’s coming), and – best of all – grandchildren.

One of the greatest blessings of age is that there comes a time when you can completely ignore things and people who would otherwise irritate you. Sadly, I cannot yet ignore Hillary Clinton or John Kerry. I am able to completely ignore Al Gore. (Although I heard he may jump in the race if Hillary crashes. Then I’d have to think about him again: I could do it for the good of the country).

Here are three things I now ignore with impunity, and I’m better off for it:

1. Jimmy Carter

jimmy carter

I’m informed by credible sources that Jimmy has just written yet another book, this one treating his reflections on turning 90. Sorry, Jimmy. I’ll ignore that book just like I ignored the several hundred other forgettable books you’ve foisted on the gullible. Okay, sometimes Jimmy has managed to irritate me with one of his “Yasser Arafat was a man of peace” comments, but not anymore. After this post, I will never think of Jimmy Carter again.

2. All Math Higher Than Calculating a Percentage

no mathI have reached that wonderful point in life where I will never, ever again need to know the quadratic equation, let alone what it does. I will never have to prove another geometry theorem. Trigonometry: I don’t need you. Algebra: Who cares what x is? As far as I’m concerned, the time has come to decide what x is once and for all and put the kids out of their misery. Calculus: Sorry, I don’t have to forget you – I never knew you in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that mathematics is incredibly important to our lives. The world we know would not exist without people who perform amazing mathematical feats. But not me. I now live in a purely arithmetical world. I’ll pay for the products I buy, and in that way will pay to have my math done for me.

3. Lousy Modern and Post-Modern Novels

bad books

I finally read Ulysses last year. I’m glad I did it, but I’m not going there again (so much brilliance expended for so little value). I’ve read some stuff by Virginia Woolf, but I wish I had the brain cells back. I refuse to read any book that requires more effort to read than it took to write and produces even less enjoyment.

Sorry John Updike, Philip Roth, Virginia Woolf, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, Don Delillo, Thomas Pynchon, and a host of European writers whose names I never actually knew, I’ve decided I don’t need you – I don’t even need to think about you. Ever. I like books with beginnings, middles, and ends (in that order). That’s why I like the great ones: Homer (yes, I know it’s really poetry), Austen, Dickens, Trollope, Conrad, and Cather.

I no longer feel that I must deny that I really like good fantasy and sci-fi. And children’s books. I love the good ones. I’ve received more pure enjoyment from The Wind in the Willows and The Chronicles of Narnia than from any contemporary novelist (Marilynne Robinson excepted). Not only do I no longer have to read lousy novels, I no longer have to pretend to have read them, or that I even know their names or who wrote them. I realize that this might make me a barbarian. Who cares? I now ignore people who call people like me a barbarian.

Surely there are some things you now ignore with impunity. Let’s hear them.

Update: I also ignore Mike Murphy now that he’s working for Jeb. Mr. “We Must Support Electable Candidates” is now working for Jeb, who I believe is unelectable.

 

 

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There are 46 comments.

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  1. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    I’ve begun ignoring most of what people say. People prattle on and really enjoy hearing themselves. For the most part, they don’t care what you think or even if you’re listening.

    Quack quack.

    • #1
    • July 19, 2015, at 8:28 AM PDT
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  2. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Post author

    Ball Diamond Ball:I’ve begun ignoring most of what people say. People prattle on and really enjoy hearing themselves. For the most part, they don’t care what you think or even if you’re listening.

    Quack quack.

    I fear I may have prattled in my post. Is it too late to take it down?

    With an exception for my post, I agree with you. Most social media is mere prattling (as my ten followers on Twitter know well).

    • #2
    • July 19, 2015, at 8:32 AM PDT
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  3. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    tabula rasa:

    Ball Diamond Ball:I’ve begun ignoring most of what people say. People prattle on and really enjoy hearing themselves. For the most part, they don’t care what you think or even if you’re listening.

    Quack quack.

    I fear I may have prattled in my post. Is it too late to take it down?

    What?

    • #3
    • July 19, 2015, at 8:49 AM PDT
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  4. Percival Thatcher

    Profundity is difficult to achieve without a 140 character limit. Therefore I ignore Twitter.

    Someone will be just itching to tell me all about it anyway.

    • #4
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:08 AM PDT
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  5. Larry3435 Member

    Not just modern novels either. There are a host of so-called classics that just bore me to tears. Yeah, I’m looking at you James Fenimore Cooper. Among many others.

    And I don’t know if anyone considers them classics, but my list also includes J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov, and anyone who writes about teenage vampires.

    • #5
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:13 AM PDT
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  6. JustmeinAZ Member

    Any hysteria in the headlines e.g. bird flu, ebola, heterosexual aids.

    • #6
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:14 AM PDT
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  7. raycon and lindacon Inactive

    Ted, you are so right about the importance of the important. Youth wastes immense energies pretending that the unimportant matters because they are living the lie that the majority is always right.

    Age is the filter that reality requires for a meaningful life.

    • #7
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:14 AM PDT
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  8. Casey Inactive

    I can’t agree about Woolf but can about Jeb.

    I’ll also agree with BDB. I mostly just ignore people. Growing up, I found almost every adult I knew fascinating. None had a college degree. Today almost everyone I know has a degree and yet not a one is even slightly interesting.

    At the same time, the lower middle class I grew up in has gotten rougher and less interested. (And less interesting because they are less interested.)

    Interaction has become so painful that I just ignore. I come here to Ricochet to get some substance. That gets me through.

    Then I say something goofy and everyone ignores me. But I’m fine with that.

    • #8
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:17 AM PDT
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  9. A-Squared Coolidge

    People who call me a bigot, racist, or sexist.

    • #9
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:25 AM PDT
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  10. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Post author

    Casey:I can’t agree about Woolf but can about Jeb.

    I’ll also agree with BDB. I mostly just ignore people. Growing up, I found almost every adult I knew fascinating.None had a college degree. Today almost everyone I know has a degree and yet not a one is even slightly interesting.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree (or disagree about disagreeing) about Woolf. I just don’t get her, and at this point I’m unwilling to pay the price of trying to do so.

    To your other point, college was once a way to differentiate yourself (and thus become more interesting)–now it’s the greatest homogenizing force in the world.

    The most interesting person I’ve ever known is my dad, with his 11th grade education. He was smart, but not book smart.

    He died in April 2009. One of the last things he said to me: “I am so glad I’m not going to have to live through the Obama administration.” I felt like saying, “Dad, take me with you.”

    And he didn’t walk around with that constipated look that college produces in such abundance (not for all, but for far too many).

    • #10
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:30 AM PDT
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  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Apparently, most of popular culture. I mean, I’ll see things like the Marvel Movies because I am a geek, but I am not 100% sure I can pick out any of the Cardashians in a line up. Someone mentioned to me there was a Jenner relationship to them. Really?

    • #11
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:30 AM PDT
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  12. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Post author

    Bryan G. Stephens:Apparently, most of popular culture. I mean, I’ll see things like the Marvel Movies because I am a geek, but I am not 100% sure I can pick out any of the Cardashians in a line up. Someone mentioned to me there was a Jenner relationship to them. Really?

    Continue ignoring: make no effort to learn more. You’re just fine without gumming up your brain with them.

    • #12
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:33 AM PDT
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  13. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Post author

    Larry3435:Not just modern novels either. There are a host of so-called classics that just bore me to tears. Yeah, I’m looking at you James Fenimore Cooper. Among many others.

    And I don’t know if anyone considers them classics, but my list also includes J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov, and anyone who writes about teenage vampires.

    It’s time for me to come clean: I have never actually made it to the end of a Cooper novel.

    Agree on the others, with the exception of some of the early Vonnegut (Sirens of Titan, for example). His edginess turned into dementia.

    • #13
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:37 AM PDT
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  14. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Post author

    One more. I hope very soon to be able to completely ignore Donald Trump. Until then, antacids will continue to be a major part of my diet.

    • #14
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  15. Rightfromthestart Coolidge

    Update: I also ignore Mike Murphy now that he’s working for Jeb. Mr. “We Must Support Electable Candidates” is now working for Jeb, who I believe is unelectable.’

    I consider Murphy, along with Schmidt( ?) and Nicole Wallace to be Democrat plants
    in there to make sure our side finishes a respectable second.

    • #15
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:45 AM PDT
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  16. Casey Inactive

    I also ignore the news. Not completely but I have learned that you can catch up on important stuff real quick. And a lot of today’s news isn’t important.

    Following politics is kind of like watching a baseball game that plays out with one pitch per day. (Almost like Yanks/Red Sox)

    The windup, the pitch… ball one.

    Ok, let’s analyze this for 24 hours.

    Tomorrow – ball 2.

    Oh no, Is this a trend?

    Tuesday – strike 1.

    Are things turning in our favor now?

    No thanks. I’ll tune in in a month and see how the top of the first went.

    • #16
    • July 19, 2015, at 9:55 AM PDT
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  17. Podkayne of Israel Member

    I ignore a lot of stuff, especially since I upgraded my BA in History for an RN. I don’t worry about all the fiction I haven’t read. I find the imaginations of most novelists either bore or annoy me. My few ventures into contemporary fiction convince me that I am generally correct.

    I don’t know why Nabokov has such a bad reputation with many readers here; I found him witty and not too difficult to read.

    I have ignored Harry Potter and almost everything directed by Steven Spielberg after “Jaws”. I don’t like being jerked around.

    • #17
    • July 19, 2015, at 10:52 AM PDT
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  18. Peter Gøthgen Member

    Bryan G. Stephens:… but I am not 100% sure I can pick out any of the Cardashians in a line up…

    Ok, here are the important ones to know.

    Enabran Tain was the former head of the Obsidian Order (the only one to ever live long enough to do so). His illegitimate son Elim Garak was exiled from Cardassia and lived on Deep Space Nine…

    Oh, wait, Kardashians. Never mind.

    • #18
    • July 19, 2015, at 11:17 AM PDT
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  19. Stad Thatcher

    Television.

    I stopped watching network news in the 80s because of the never-ending bias against Reagan. When my wife and I got our first satellite dish (one of those big ten footers), we stopped watching network TV, instead watching old classics like Perry Mason, or things on the Comedy Channel like Mystery Science Theater 3000.

    Today, we only watch TV shows that have proven themselves worthy. Even then, we either binge watch the season on DVD, or we use Netflix or Amazon Prime. The same thing with movies. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in a movie theater.

    The only TV I watch regularly is football, preferably college.

    Once I gave up network TV (particularly network news), my outlook on life has improved. I stay informed on events using other means, one of which is Ricochet.

    • #19
    • July 19, 2015, at 11:28 AM PDT
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  20. Nick Stuart Inactive

    About 10 years ago I resigned from the board at my church and made a dedicated effort to completely ignore everything besides what took place in the Sunday morning worship.

    Relatives hired in clear contravention of the anti-nepotism provisions in the personnel manual? Meh, who cares?

    Peremptorily sack the Worship Director because “reasons?” Fuggedaboutdit (I never liked the guy anyway, so that one was easy. It was fun watching all the sturm und drang as a spectator though).

    Really, it was tearing me up, and I think I’m a lot better off for it.

    • #20
    • July 19, 2015, at 11:51 AM PDT
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  21. PHCheese Member

    Tubular, I don’t even have a yard any longer. The only math is figuring the tip when we go out to eat. I move the decimal and double it for 20%. Unfortunately the Pope is interning Jimmy Carter territory for me.

    • #21
    • July 19, 2015, at 12:20 PM PDT
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  22. aardo vozz Member

    I ignore promises from politicians. I tend to be shocked more now when the promises are kept than when they’re broken.

    • #22
    • July 19, 2015, at 12:21 PM PDT
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  23. Grey Hare Member

    I once confused the Kardashians for the Cardassians. Was roundly mocked. I ignore Star Trek, in all iterations.

    • #23
    • July 19, 2015, at 1:05 PM PDT
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  24. DocJay Inactive

    Jeb is in the race to lose to Clinton but on the off chance he wins then he’s been paid for by the same folks that pay Hillary. I wish I could ignore that.
    I ignore liberals. When I realize I’m dealing with one I calculate if something really funny can happen and it’s usually not likely. Then they sound like the Charlie Brown teacher. I hear nothing but the drone. It’s liberating.

    • #24
    • July 19, 2015, at 1:24 PM PDT
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  25. DocJay Inactive

    I also ignore any opinion by any celebrity.

    • #25
    • July 19, 2015, at 1:24 PM PDT
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  26. drlorentz Member

    tabula rasa: I now live in a purely arithmetical world. I’ll pay for the products I buy, and in that way will pay to have my math done for me.

    I understand your pain but I’m gonna push back on this a bit. To paraphrase Lenin, you may not be interested in math but math is interested in you. Economic and fiscal issues, which play a large role in the political sphere, involve more math than plain arithmetic. Statistical data pervade discussions concerning almost everything, from public health to your individual health. Is the risk of this medication worth the benefit? How much insurance should you buy? Do you have enough money to retire comfortably? It’s not just arithmetic.

    Being innumerate is somewhat akin to being illiterate: you can still take part in political debate and vote but you’re impaired. You can still live your life as you please but you will be at a disadvantage in evaluating the advice of others and making decisions concerning your well-being. You will have to rely more often upon the judgement of others over your own since they will have to evaluate and interpret the facts for you. That x you disdain might be the amount you can afford to spend every year in retirement. You don’t necessarily have to be able to work it out yourself but it’s good to have a well-functioning BS detector.

    Regarding Ulysses, you’ll get no argument from me.

    • #26
    • July 19, 2015, at 3:04 PM PDT
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  27. The Great Adventure! Member

    Baseball. On the excitement scale it falls somewhere between watching paint dry and watching 2 old guys playing chess in the park. Televised golf, tennis, and bowling are all kind of blended in at the same level.

    • #27
    • July 19, 2015, at 3:14 PM PDT
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  28. drlorentz Member

    tabula rasa: being able to yell at the neighbor kids when they get on my lawn (I’ve not exercised this privilege, but it’s coming)

    Me neither, but I’ve been practicing.

    • #28
    • July 19, 2015, at 3:28 PM PDT
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  29. Retail Lawyer Member

    When I was in my 20s this elderly neighbor of mine told me of how liberating it was to lose his sex drive. He could just ignore women from here on out, completely and forever. I thought that was so sad, and have often thought of it since then. Has not happened to me yet.

    • #29
    • July 19, 2015, at 4:29 PM PDT
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  30. Casey Inactive

    Retail Lawyer, was this after you went down to the Piraeus by chance?

    • #30
    • July 19, 2015, at 4:32 PM PDT
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