Friday, September 02, 2005

Put Down The Camera And Give The Guy A Sandwich

Please remove this remote control from my hand and unplug my television. I do not want to watch anymore. I have stopped learning anything from watching the pain and suffering of my fellow Americans. The periodic refrain of that notion - these are Americans wading through waist high water; these are Americans waiting in line for buses that never come; these are Americans shooting at helicopters that are trying to bring supplies; these are Americans dying.
Reality TV my ass. "Too many cameras and not enough food," sang the Police once upon a time. There was a bit of smug solace in suffering taking place across the globe from us. I think of the T-shirt I got for donating to Live Aid. On the back it said "This Shirt Saved A Life." I've thought about that shirt a hundred times since then, always wishing that if that were really true if I could possibly be more discriminating about the life I chose to save.
But that's the real trick, isn't it? It doesn't matter in the end - a life is a life - in New Orleans or Niger. We watch and try to imagine what it must be like and then thank the deity of our choice that our lights are on and we're not sleeping in a domed sports stadium with no idea where our loved ones have gone. We're a privileged society with a short attention span. What happens when that society gets stripped away isn't pretty at all. Still, there's a lot of talk about where the Saints are going to play their home games. I consider this an amazing example of Ironic American Resiliency. It reminds me of the concerns after 9/11 about when it would be okay to play football again. Right now, I say - before I turn back to CNN.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't get too discouraged. President Photo Op and Dr. Mortician the Homeland Security Lawyer are getting plenty of scrutiny. This time around, the media's been pretty right on and exposed some of the greater problems facing our society. Let the cameras roll. For ANY politician, it's time to learn to LEAD and cease pushing agendas. Remember, it is the media who brought us the President's news that the 82nd Airborne unit (from Ft. Benning Georgia, you know, neighbors of the disaster)and others were NOW on their way. Those news folks on the screen, in Louisianna, are bringing out some great truths this time around. If FDR were here, we'd have a moment of great public works employment if it was worked right.