Not sure if you read my blog regularly, but I wrote  a while ago about my aversion to Ken Burns. Not personally, because I am sure he is a very nice man, despite his unfortunate haircut. No, I am not a fan of his docuseries, because they are so minutely detailed.

The fact that Ben Franklin (I am making this up, because I did not watch the series about him), liked to give his wife pink roses is lost on me. All I need to know about Franklin is the kite and the key, thank you very much.

Digesting the news is a similar situation. I like to get the gist. The gist is all I need. The gist can be obtained from reading just the headlines. For instance, if Putin attacks another city in the Ukraine, all I need is the name of the city, because we already know how he will do it: blast it to smithereens. Therefore, details about how many people were killed or how many churches destroyed are needless and anguish- producing. I don’t need those details; just the main fact or facts is enough.

This drives my husband crazy. I will tell him something I read that I think he will find interesting. For example: “Hey, did you know that a woman grew a gourd that looks exactly like a penis?” That is all anybody needs to know. But my husband will immediately ask me, “Where does she live? Was it in her backyard, or is she a farmer?” Where she grew it and what she does for a living are absolutely NEITHER HERE NOR THERE. Literally.

He also quizzes me on the details of the news I relay to him via my newsfeed. Five black bears were hibernating under a home for months, and the homeowners had no idea. That is enough to know. I scrolled past that headline just after I read it to Charlie, and so I lost that story forever, and I could not tell him what state that was in, or what city, or how the homeowners who had no idea became aware of the bears. Does it matter? There were FIVE BEARS under there! Who cares about what state that was in? I know it isn’t Ohio, so why clutter my mind with needless further information?

Thls habit of mine for going for the barest of information has led my brother-in-law to call me “Cliff Notes Campbell.” Cliff Notes are a gift to mankind. Frankly, sometimes even the Cliff Notes versions of things aren’t abbreviated enough: All one needs to know about Finnegans Wake is that the book ends with the first half of the first sentence of the novel–all you need to know to avoid reading it altogether. Cliff Notes won’t help you with James Joyce. I am not sure James Joyce could help you with James Joyce.

I leave you with a quick summary of something that you might find interesting, and this is all you need to know about it:


I rest my case.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.