Our View: Resist Neverland
The country needs to unplug its brain from trash news and be more involved in issues that matter.
The Editorial Board members, by and large, are fans of Michael Jackson’s music.
However, we are abhorred by the constant, droning, obsessive coverage of his death and family troubles – which, of course, continue post-mortem because conflict sells.
Jackson was a musical genius, or, at the very least, a great musician whose career came about at the right time.
Of course people want to know what happened to him. Few in history have reached the same measure of global fame. But it can only be a sign that American culture is decadent beyond forgiveness when the country cares more about a pop star with well-documented legal and personal trouble, than it does its own soldiers dying in a desert halfway across the world.
How many soldiers died that day in Iraq and Afghanistan?
How many Iraqi and Afghani civilians died that day?
Media – television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet – is the net that catches all of a society’s successes, failures, aspirations and fears.
Maybe it’s a sign of how lazy we’ve become that the fastest-growing and most lucrative part of our national media is celebrity news, which, in our opinion, is little more than cheap escapism.
It seems we aspire to be these people, no matter how vapid or self-destructive, and probably for the simple fact they’re rich.
The bombardment of Michael Jackson coverage is not the fault of TV producers and magazine editors.
They are as much a part of the free market as the rest of us and respond to what their customers want.
The fault lies with us, the American people.
Life is sticky, and it can easily pull you under. No one would fault another for wanting to go home and take it easy after a long day at work, after picking his or her child up from the principal’s office or after receiving four utility bills in one day.
At the same time, there are real problems in the world: war, hunger, cancer, slavery and genocide, to name a few.
We’re not saying everyone should take it upon himself or herself to save humanity – though that’s an interesting thought.
We just want to encourage people to own their lives and do something they’re proud about.
Daily consumption of Entertainment Tonight and http://www.pinkisthenewblog.com will not make you one of them, a celebrity we fawn over because they look good underneath $300 worth of makeup.
Instead, set aside one night a week to accomplish something.
Play catch with your kid, and work toward raising a child who won’t go on to find fame in the police blotter.
Write a letter to a soldier serving overseas, and help him or her remember to look forward to coming home.
Just do something constructive one night a week, and we can work up to the bigger problems.
You can have the other six nights to watch dating shows and catch up on whether the Twilight stars are going to stay together.
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