Living in East Africa is pretty wonderful, but there are a couple downsides, and lack of access to craft beer and Mexican food might just top the list. When I lived out in the village, it was lack of access to news, media, arts—aka the Internet, the firehose from which so much of our information flows. Blasts, really. Living in the capital this year, working out of our main office, I’ve had access to fairly reliable internet during the day, and therefore more of culture as it unfolds. Unfortunately, that day is an 8 to 11 hr remove from the US, depending on your coastal allegiances.
While I’m a half day ahead of everyone on the calendar, I’m often much further behind than that when it comes to music, news, and TV. News has always been the realm of the timely, but more and more, it’s the hot take that’s taken over—who can get copy on the page fastest. Post first. Get those clicks. It’s like when To Pimp a Butterfly came out and everyone instantly called it a classic, ignoring the fact that it’s an immensely detailed album that requires quite a few listens to assess properly. No, no—it’s either instantly trash or classic. Also, things that are live, especially TV and sporting events, are right out—no way I can live tweet at 3 am and not be a zombie at work. Luckily, football—sigh, soccer—works out a bit better. But that’s for another post.
I realize that being in Tanzania, I can’t begin to compete with a news cycle that’s so inaccessible. Plus, as my previous blog readership has been tiny, and as this is more an exercise for myself, I’ve come to think: why bother? I’m going to turn that challenge to my advantage and move slow on purpose. Take some time with things. Not just because it’s hard to get access to them, but also because I really want to think about them. So if I’m talking about an album that’s been out for a while or a TV show that’s been running for a number of weeks—forgive me. Hopefully the time spent will make it a little deeper, a little more worth your while.