Thursday, July 01, 2010

Try acting like a human for a change

I listened to a great segment on the NPR show Fresh Air with Jeffrey Gettlemen, East Africa bureau chief of The New York Times. Gettleman talked about ideology-free "un-wars" that plague places like Somalia and the DR Congo and the massive human devastation they cause. Last month, he published a piece about how the US- and UN-funded Somalia transitional government was conscripting child soldiers to fight against Islamist extermists.

So naturally, the first comment left on the page was:

Tragic shame about the situation in Somalia; but there's a solution: Just deploy Oliver Stone to do a documentary on how it's really a paradise on earth and any negative images are simply the fabrication of the imperialist/capitalist U.S. media. It seem to work in other chaotic hell-bound locations. Send Michael Moore as well, to really put a shine on the situation.

After listening to the piece on the radio, my reaction was one of sadness and disgust at the carnage. Yet, this person's first reaction was to be snide. It was to take a shot not at the disgusting murderers like Joseph Kony or al-Shabab but at left-wing film makers.

Sadly, this is emblematic of our society has devolved. An exploration of tragic human suffering is met not with anger or empathy toward the suffering of other homo sapiens, but only with a shallow political temper tantrum.

When did we Americans become ideologues first, rather than human beings? And is any ideology worth having if it's completely divorced from humanity?

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