One Ohio Man Has No Clue What's Going On in the World

And intentionally: Erik Hagerman blocks out all news, from politics to mass shootings
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2018 10:10 AM CDT
Updated Mar 17, 2018 1:24 PM CDT
President Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Moon Township, Pa., on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – It's a list worth quoting (and we'll add Stormy Daniels to it): "James Comey. Russia. Robert Mueller. Las Vegas. The travel ban. 'Alternative facts.' Pussy hats. Scaramucci. Parkland. Big nuclear buttons. Roy Moore." These are all things Erik Hagerman has zero knowledge of, writes the New York Times in its much-talked-about piece on the Ohio man, who went cold turkey on current affairs in the wake of Donald Trump's 2016 election. The 53-year-old's effort is a serious one: It has a name ("The Blockade") and involves protective measures beyond just steering clear of social media. The staff at the Athens coffee shop he frequents daily all know not to mention even a whiff of current events to him, and he listens to white noise via headphones while he eats there.

There are scant exceptions: He does allow himself Cleveland Cavaliers games, though only on mute; reads weather and real estate listings in the local paper; and avoids the weekly New Yorker covers but does read the art reviews within. He explains his reasoning: "It's not like I wanted to just steer away from Trump or shift the conversation. It was like I was a vampire and any photon of Trump would turn me to dust." Besides, he says, he read the news for decades but "never did anything with it." His sister calls his ability to "construct [his] dream world ... a privilege," and the Times explains: Hagerman was formerly an exec with Nike who retired to the Ohio farm three years ago; he says he tosses the updates he receives on his investments into the trash, unopened. The full story details his new project: "The Lake."

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