Thursday, October 6, 2011

obscene (adj): offensive to morality or decency, depraved

I don't agree with much of his politics, but Governor Mike Huckabee was right on the money when he tweeted (it pains me to use that verb), "Hollywood breakups get more media than 30K kids dying in Somalia? Talk about obscene." Included in his tweet was a link to a video made by encouraging people to sign a petition that asks Congress to fully fund Feed the Future, a U.S. global hunger and food security initiative.


I love this video because it points out the ugly truth about what it takes to capture America's attention. We (I include myself in this) are drawn to the lurid, the sensational, the obscene. One need only glance at the headlines to confirm this. As I write, the top headlines on are: "MJ's drugs cover court table during trial," "28 arrested as Wall St. protests grow," "Amanda Knox 'overwhelmed' in return home," "California teen to be retried in gay student murder."

I know that famine and drought in the Horn of Africa can't lead the news and dominate the headlines every day, and I know that there are plenty of people working hard to report on the immense suffering that is rampant in East Africa. But still. There is no reference to the crisis in Africa on CNN's homepage. There is a two minute video that promises to tell us how to "Relive Weinergate for Halloween." I click over to CNN's world news page, but apparently, the story doesn't warrant a mention there either. From that page, however, you can click on a story ironically titled, "'Foxy Knoxy': Sex, violence and media hysteria."

Over the summer, 30,000 children under that age of five died as the result of the famine in Somalia. UNICEF estimates that a child dies every six minutes in Somalia. On September 5th, the UN warned that upwards of 750,000 people could die in the coming months in Somalia. I don't know about you, but I find those figures to be "offensive to morality or decency." I only know these statistics because a celebrity-packed video titled the "The F Word" caught my attention and prompted me to do a little research, and that's shameful. Obscene, even. We are better than this, and we should demand better, not just of our elected officials, but of our media as well.

Click here to sign the petition.

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