Roger L. Simon

An Addict's Notes

It’s hard to go on vacation nowadays, at least for me. Most hotels have internet access and the ability to connect is almost aways there. So here I am typing away at seven in the morning from my room in Lake Louise. This is an addiction – an addiction to the news and to the online phonemenon. it is also a fear of not being au courant, of the moment slipping away from me. But what is my knowledge of the moment anyway? Only the most miniscule slices of some illusory reality. And yet I feel compelled to find out. I go online during my vacation, though I promise myself only briefly. Still, bits of information intrude … Kofi Annan blaming the Israelis (of course) for atttacking an Hezbollah guerrilla unit that was importing arms, some blogger I had never heard of before instigating a letter writing campaign against Hollywood types who had the temerity to sign a rather bland statement supporting Israel. Never mind that these so-called addresses are care of the celebrities’ agents (and therefore probably will never get through), the actions of this hitherto (to me) anonymous person set my blood to boil – here in the most perfect natural setting, looking up at a glacier.

In some sense I admit I have always been an exception with this compulsion to know. But how much of an exception? I suspect not all that much. Indeed, as a kid, I can recall many of my friends memorizing sports scores and batting averages, not that different an impulse, if you think about it. But I fear for our future. As information intrudes everywhere, it will become harder and harder to find peace – unless we find it in ourselves… not always an easy thing.