It takes me 3 minutes to get to work, which as it turns out, is basically my attention span anyway. As I drove to work yesterday I was listening to NPR discussing the state of the Iraqi government. So I’m hearing Iraqi’s talk about what’s actually happening in their country, about the state of “benchmarks” for the government, and basically how potentially the fate of the Iraqi people lie with their gov’t. Spoiler: not in good shape. So I’m listening to that, and I had an urge to see what else was on.
Four of my other presets had commercials on, but then I find…U2. I’m not even a huge U2 fan, but I kept the radio there. It was like 20 seconds before the guilt crept in. What a cop-out! I wanted to listen to some music when there was such a weighty matter on the other station. Just 1 inch from preset 4, over on preset 5 was NPR. Then it dawned on me that this might be a metaphor for all of us and the news. We’re all so sick of being depressed by the news (Especially news about Iraq.) It’s expensive. It’s deadly. The virtues of the war are debatable. Instead of NPR, we would all collectively rather listen to U2. It’s so easy to ignore the sorry state of affairs when U2 is 1 inch away. We have more choice than ever today in almost everything. Clothes, books, media, food…basically, you name it. But has that choice narrowed our perspective? It allows us to choose what we like and what we want to be exposed to and to tune out what we don’t.
I’ll leave you with something else I’ve been thinking about for a while: Would people be more involved in foreign policy if there was a draft? Too many of us don’t think that what goes on overseas (or even at home) applies to them because it doesn’t change our tomorrow or next week. If there was the prospect of a draft, where you, I, our cousin, son, whoever, could get drafted– all of a sudden we’d care a whole lot more about foreign policy, right? About what was happening in Iraq…what was working, what wasn’t working. What’s best for American in this “new world.” We’d all care a lot more, I think. What do you think?
4/30/13 – I guess the roots of “Who Cares” goes deeper than I thought…