Having had a tough time dealing with the news on the recent Syria massacre, I rose above the confusion to re-re-re-think my approach to such news. For my own sake and because I have been pondering for a while how bad a “fit” I am to my current lifestyle. Not that I am discontent with it, it’s just that I cannot be happy knowing there is so much distress and disorder around.
I’d like to share this “softly-does-it” opinion post about the coping choices and life decisions I gave myself leave to make. All based on information about massacres, famines, or disasters happening outside the reach of the willing-to-help-but-relatively-powerless, like myself.
In brief, these are the generalized choices:
• Epinephrine approach: leave everything behind and physically help.
• Pay & Pray approach: Live and work to pay your taxes and pray to your god of choice that they will be spent in defending your country and those in need abroad.
• Pay & Claim approach: Live and work to pay your taxes and use your top (or bottom) of the pile power to get diplomacy and defense moving in more ways than UN.
• Oblivious approach: Ignore the signs and wait until you local news resemble those abroad.
• Big picture approach: Live your life peacefully and hope for the best, somehow knowing these disasters are more of a “fate-thing” or some sort of unavoidable “tough-luck”.
I used to cling on to choice 5 yet am now somewhere between the 1st and 3rd choice. Not the 2nd, but rather a nice mix of the first three.
Starting here, I am exercising my bottom of the deepest pit power to express my discontent and to pledge not to speak about starlets, or awards, or new movies until I see a clear cut diplomatic intervention in Syria. I realize this will dampen my conversations a bit but hey, who needs horror or sci-fi films when you can discuss the news instead?
Please note I am not criticizing objective journalism, au contraire, it was a testimony to The Guardian’s top of the league approach that they front-paged a truthful photograph of what is going on in Houla (Syria). Click here to read their updates online.
I would point anyone comparing realistic journalism with extreme-and-unnecessary sensationalism to look at what they are used to watch on TV, DVD or Blu-Ray… If you can watch the “Saw” franchise trailers you can watch and acknowledge any news, no doubt about it.
Now, the most compelling critics are those claiming the press is using these news to fuel support for planned military interventions. Even if/when they are right, it is these claims that most encourage a “what’s the point then?” attitude. If there are ulterior motives, I gladly welcome truthful and graphic news reports that will encourage me to research further. Reporting disasters so as to not offend delicate sensibilities isn’t going to help critical approaches and just decisions, sorry(*not really.).
In conclusion, objective journalism gives us the freedom to know what is happening and make an informed decision about how this will, or will not, change our lives. In my case, I now chose an active approach to bad news. Putting myself in someone else’s shoes and doing what I would like others to do if I was going through the same things.
At least, acknowledge their humanity and “what it must be like”.
At best, get a diplomat to nuke governmental sadism back into where it belongs: Hollywood.