The news can be sooooo depressing. Apparently, half of us just don't believe in science anymore. (What climate change?) But we do think that training children how to charge a mass shooter is a good idea — FOX News even did a segment on it. Donald Trump leads the news cycle with ever-more-outrageous soundbites, leading me to yell at NPR in my car, "You don't have to report every idiotic thing he says!"

Hey, wait a minute... I remembered you can change the channel. Wow, some stations play music. Oh, that's nice. I even dug out my old box of cassettes and popped one in, the sounds of a half-warped tape taking me back. "Any Major Dude" by Steely Dan — now that's music.

We've gone to MythBusters Live, taken in a Zuill Bailey concert at Barrister Winery and had a nice family birthday party with that McGregor tradition: pinochle.

I'm in the news business, and I love it, but every once in a while you have to call time-out. I'm so in awe of the social justice advocates and leaders of charitable organizations who have to stay at it 24/7 since the need is so great. But everyone needs to recharge — to remember what makes life so beautiful. Classical music. A nice red blend. The new Star Wars movie.

For many, however, it seems to be tuning out instead of taking a time-out. Apparently a lot of us have accepted that science can be trusted for one thing — to deliver TV through tiny wires or over the air. It's a the golden age of television, we are told — another way of saying we may be living more in a virtual world than in the real one. You want evidence? Statistics show that we barely even vote, leaving our leadership jobs to, um... What time does Black-ish come on?

Arts and culture sustain us — holidays and time off can, too. We need to savor those moments, whether dusting off an old cassette or sitting quietly while the Christmas choir sings, letting the music wash over you, drowning out the noise of our complicated lives.

Recharge your batteries, people: Our to-do list for 2016 is daunting. We need to put the planet on a drastic fossil-fuels diet. We need to fight discrimination, which has reared its ugly head in 2015. There's ISIS, picking a decent president and sharing our prosperity. Yes, it's the same timeless goal: Peace on Earth, goodwill to people everywhere.

But let's face it: Black-ish is pretty funny. Over the break, you might need to binge-watch it. ♦

Christmas Tree Elegance Holiday Luncheons @ Historic Davenport Hotel

Tue., Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Wed., Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
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About The Author

Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Ted S. McGregor, Jr. grew up in Spokane and attended Gonzaga Prep high school and the University of the Washington. While studying for his Master's in journalism at the University of Missouri, he completed a professional project on starting a weekly newspaper in Spokane. In 1993, he turned that project into reality...