The old guy listens to the radio. A lot of old guys listen because they can't stand the noise of the television and because their eyes no longer show them the world. This particular old guy's vision went to static then to black a little more than a year ago. He's not accustom to it. In his 80s, he resents having to rely on other people to find the front door to his house.
"I listen to the radio," he said. "I listen all day long and it amazes me: parents kill their children, children kill each other. It didn't used to be that way."
I try to point out that's not really true. The media is better at reporting crime than they used to be. We hear about murders, fires and even assaults in other states now and often the same day they happen.
I told him radio stations are driven by ratings and the need to make more people listen longer to turn a buck. Tragedy sells. People listen longer when they think they might here something they need to know. It's very fear based.
"I'm sure that's true," he told me politely.
He was silent after that. He didn't believe me.
I considered what I might believe if I was only a blind old man who only listened to local talk radio. I would only know what was filtered down by different interests who decided for me what was important and what wasn't. The world could seem like a terrible and evil place. It might seem like the entire world had lost its way in the time when I stopped watching it and could only listen to what other people wanted me to hear.
It's hard not to be blind.