My first issue of Foreign Affairs popped in the mail today.
Buying a physical subscription of a magazine this year was one of the strangest decisions I made in December 2016. Print media has for a while been slowing down in favor of the more immediate access of website news and social media, and it’s starting to become intervals of months rather than weeks by which I end up passing by a newspaper and read above the fold. Nevertheless, here we are.
I think what really drove this decision home for me was the fact that we are currently living in an interesting time. For me, the past 8 years under Obama have been mostly uneventful and, well, business as usual. The only way I was exposed to controversy here on the West Coast was through the Internet and cable news. I had no reason to believe that anything that happened during those times would seriously affect how I lived.
I’m older now, and I have to look for a job within the same timeframe as Trump’s term in office. Once I graduate from college, I’m going to be facing a working environment in active conflict with the rest of the world. It’s necessary for me, now, to know what’s going on about current events.
International news seems to be a good start, and from the few web articles that I could access from Foreign Affairs I’ve discovered that I quite enjoy their content. So when I got that offer in my inbox to get a year’s subscription at a discount, I pretty much said “why not?”. Anything to get my head out of the spinning hell that is cable news and American politics. Though, of course, all the rest of the world is interested in hearing about right now is Donald Trump. There are several articles in this volume which devote time to talking about “why the hell this even happened”. I’m currently reading through an article that compares Trump’s populist movement with Jacksonian sentiments from the early 1800’s. The text of that article is also available online, but I’m not sure if it’s behind a paywall. It’s interesting stuff, I gotta say.
I’ve made it a goal for myself to stay informed in both politics and international news. This will also help me as a method to keep me from falling into my normal routine. Namely, checking Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, then Twitter again in an endless cycle of useless entertainment. I think I risk being a lot more transparent about my political leanings by talking about this stuff, yes, but it sure beats being uninformed about what’s happening to this country right now.
- Also in relevant news, I backed a gaming magazine on Kickstarter called A Profound Waste of Time, if only because it featured a very beautiful glow-in-the-dark Shovel Knight cover. Stoked for that thing to reach my door, as well as the Spectre Knight campaign DLC.