Dead this week, the headlines have been filled with tragedy.
Davy Jones, the front man for The Monkees a TV Pop band of the mid-sixties, many referred to this band as Beatles-lite. Davy Jones never did anything spectacular, never did anything mean spirited either. He was simply a part of many of our lives when we were young.
Two unnamed US Soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan; this brings the total to six since the burning of the Qur’an in the trash pits. Despite our Presidents apology for this unintentional act of blasphemy we have once again created put our soldiers at even greater risk.
Daniel Parmetor, 17 : Russell King Jr., 17 : Demetrius Hewlin, 17; three teenagers dead at the hand of their classmate for no reason other than they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their deaths damned near ignored by all but their families, their friends and those whose lives they touched during the short time they had on this earth.
Why do I bring up these deaths? Because of the seven, the most reported in mainstream and social media was Andrew Breitbart, the mean spirited, loudmouthed, bombastic and all too frequent liar. Suddenly, in his death he reached sainthood; even his antagonists are mourning his demise. Perhaps it is that he will no longer be a foil for them, or that they will no longer have a ready target; nonetheless while his death at the age of 43 is certainly sad for his family and friends it should not, in my opinion overshadow others of far more social significance, should it?
Poor Davy Jones, his death became the focus of my ire early in the week when the number of Facebook posts of his passing at 66, far exceeded the number of posts about the five teenagers who were gunned down in Ohio at random, there had been hardly a bleep on the radar of mainstream or social media about that story. This is not to say I was angry at his death, certainly I was not, like many people my age I fondly remember the ridiculousness of The Monkees, their silly and sweet music and Davy Jones himself. My indignation was instead focused on how shallow we seem to be as humans that this death was more important; the death of a long out of the spotlight celebrity was more vital to our national conversation than the death of three teenagers or the soldiers being randomly targeted in Afghanistan.
Worse still than the what seemed to be the complete disregard of the tragedy in Ohio, was the importance of other stories in the spotlight of mainstream and social media; what story took even more space, more breathless awe from those who would turn our heads and values? Are you afraid to ask? I will tell you because it made me want to run screaming from the room and turn off my connections to the world forever, Angelina Jolie and her new leg pose was far more important than the School Shooting in Chardon, Ohio on Monday 27-Feb-2012, just one day prior.
My problem of course had been building for days, I had been watching for anyone to start discussing the issue of children with guns, school shootings and escalating violence in our schools. Nothing! Nothing at all throughout the day or across the various social media sites I haunt. I was disheartened, to say the very least.
I had to ask the question – “What is wrong with this world, with this nation? Not a word anywhere when 5 children are shot, one already dead.”
These are the answers to my simple question:
Sadly Val, I think it’s because the story just wasn’t shocking/exciting enough. Only 1 dead ? with one handgun ?….Some people want to see multiple bloodied bodies taken on shaky camera-phones. They want to hear phrases like ‘semi-automatic’ and ‘uzi’ and if possible have their TVs vomit the stench of cordite…Sad but true.I don’t know, unless they are afraid that this type of story tends to get sensationalized and may actually serve to promote more of this kind of tragedy by providing attention to it
This actually was covered on ABC World News yesterday but It does seem that celeb silliness is more newsworthy than significant and meaningful news impacting whole communities. It’s an absolute travesty that our news outlets so often reduce themselves to the lowest common denominator.
Lack of God. The more people take God and Jesus out of everything in order that they may do as they please.. the worse our world gets. Simple.
Just as a update: 3 children are now dead… 2nd victim is brain dead, 3rd passed away about 3 hours ago.
I think the answers are both terrible and terrifying. They speak to what is in part wrong with us as a people that we have allowed our attention to be diverted by what is trivial rather than focus on what is most important, most vital to our continuation as a society. The observations by two of the commenters are very specific in they identify the social and media misdirection.
My third commenter provided an observation that is personal and pointed, an opinion as to why this is happening today, it led to a longer discussion that I intend to convert into another post shortly.
At the end of the day though, my problem is this; I have over 4,000 contacts on Facebook. Of those, four of commented on this story and during this week of tragedy I can count on one hand how many of them commented elsewhere. I would however require my calculator to track the number of posts about the deaths of Andrew Breitbart, Davy Jones or God Help Me how Angelina Jolie exposed her leg at the Oscars.
What is wrong with this world?