Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Western world preoccupations

I know that you can get terribly maudlin about the state of humanity, and spend a lifetime weeping pointlessly into your beer or beard about things you intend to do nothing much about - infant mortality, torture, abuse of human rights and so on. But there are times when media preoccupations are downright obscene considering what is truly important, and when the ability to value what's significant is appallingly flawed.
This whole week's nonsensical fixation on two light entertainment figures having made a daft balls-up made me want to chuck the whole media industry into a large blender and flick the switch. I wasn't madly bothered about the Russian oligarchy losing its roubles, although I had a moment of unsurprised horror when I read that $70 billion of the $700 billion coughed up by the ailing US government to prop up the financial sector would be going to pay bonuses to those workers who still somehow thought they had reached their performance targets.
But what really pulled me up short was a story so utterly horrific that I couldn't understand why it wasn't front page news and the leader for every TV bulletin.

Somalian rape victim, 13, stoned to death.

There aren't many stories in the press that can make me cry with shame and horror. This did.


S Vandemore said...

I'm not sure how I arrived at your blog, but I'm so glad I did. I agree with your insight regarding the $700 billion bailout here in America and the fact that some of it is going right back into the pockets of those who created the problem. Those against the bailout totalled about 90% -- yet we apparently had no say in whether it passed or not, although many letters, emails and phone calls were made to our lawmakers voicing our distaste for the bill. I would much rather it had gone to a better cause, besides rewarding the rapist for his bad deeds.

60 Going On 16 said...

What happened to that young Somali girl was truly, truly shocking but it is symptomatic of the way women and girls are viewed in far too many cultures. I say cultures rather than countries because, as we know, young women are being murdered here in the UK, in the name of 'honour'.

We have to continue to speak out and to take whatever action we can if things are to change.

Winchester whisperer said...


paula said...

i'm sorry, i'm speechless - this is worse than appalling.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I have days too when these kind of injustices and horror stories pervade my consciousness and make me deeply ashemed to be a human being. There is too much obsession with trivial garbage like the Ross Brand coverage when true horror is ignored. Sometimes life is just hateable.

Mopsa said...

The almost casual mention of the militia opening fire on "witnesses" to the killing who tried to save her life and the resulting death of a boy completely undid me. As did the description of the lorry load of stones brought for the stoning. Lorries of stones arrive here for building purposes - to think that something so inanimate, so useful and indeed beautiful, natural and rugged can be brutalised by their use made me fill with hate. I cannot see tolerance or justice or humanity within religion.

jay said...

Sadly, this type of thing happens every day in some countries. In some countries, human rights voilations and abuse and torture and rape are so commonplace they simple don't make the news.

What can we do? Well, we can support Amnesty International, and we can refuse to buy goods or services from the countries involved if it weighs heavily on our consciences to support such a brutal and inhuman regime - as it does on mine.

You cannot change people so entrenched in their thinking and traditional ways by yelling at them, but sometimes it is possible to force change by other means.

Is this the complete answer? No, of course not. I don't know what is.

Flowerpot said...

That is just so terrible.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You are so right. The way the news spotlight moves around, often focussing on trivia is quite scandalous - while meaningful news is neglected in the shadows or in tiny snippets on page seventeen.

I did something today that I am quite ashamed of - I bought a "News of The World" - in which they reveal the scandal of a lavish weekend away for HBOS employees in Edinburgh - including £100 giftbags and unlimited alcohol and entertainment from Patrick Kielty - laughing about repossessions etc.. What is the world coming to?

Eurodog said...

I am speechless.
Some members of my family lived in the Congo in the 1950's before independence. They loved living there. They loved the people and the country. But now look at it.
So although I think the story you pointed out is horrific, it does not suprise me. Horrible things do go on and most of them don't reach us. So good, somebody pointed this one out. Do you think it will make a difference? Does anybody in the West care?