A pretty young hiker is killed in Georgia just because she wanted to take a walk in the same woods as a madman. Children are growing up in this country unable to read or do basic algebra. Sub-prime mortgages are an economic minefield. We have outsourced so many services and goods that we don’t even notice that our toys have lead in them and when Mattel protests they eventually have to backtrack and apologize to Chinese manufacturers in order to keep the flow of cheap goods into the hands and, in some cases, mouths of our children. We are still at war in Iraq after being told that it wouldn’t last long, it wouldn’t cost over $8 billion and that Saddam was working with the same people who attacked New York and Washington, DC on September 11th. No wait…He had weapons of mass destruction…Or was he a vicious dictator who had to be taught a lesson? Anyway, if you wanted to protest anything during the last presidential election, you were politely moved to a “Free Speech Zone.”
Where is the outrage?
There won’t be any outrage because we have become a nation obsessed with “bread and circuses.” Feed us and entertain us and nothing else matters. The Constitution shredding notion of free speech zones or Britney’s nervous breakdown? Well it’s easy. Give us Britney, sprinkle in some Dr. Phil and, who cares about the repression of free speech? Oh, and don’t forget the sandwiches. We want those too.
But while we sit obsessed with the trials of celebrities and our iPod playlists, we forget that the world is still turning. We forget that there are more gifted students in China than we have students. We forget that, just because a child doesn’t go to college, he or she isn’t a “child left behind.” We forget that what America does in the world matters and that we can do so very much as a nation and as individuals. But the first step is to just turn off the TV once in a while.