Monday, September 3, 2007

Four Insights

1) Do I really have to care about Diana?

In 1997 after awakening from a late-night nap on my couch (yes, it was the sign that I needed to go to bed), I remember seeing Peter Jennings on the flickering screen. Jennings said that Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in a tunnel in Paris. She was with a man named Dodi al-Fayed, whose father is the owner of the infamous Harrod's of London. While I remember where I was and what I was doing, this was not one of those deaths that really affected me or through my life into any sort of tailspin.

While this may have been my perspective, the rest of the world seemed to disagree. For weeks following, every news organization was talking about the tragedy that had taken place, how sad it was to lose this young woman who was destined to be the next Queen of England due to her marriage to that hideous man named Prince Charles (I don't mean hideous in manners or whatever. I mean physically. He really is a hideous man). It was tragic that Diana died in the manner that she did, getting chased by paparazzi. But, at the same time, it didn't change my life any. I didn't wear a memorial t-shirt or cry profusely like a lot of England did. Or, a lot of the American media for that matter.

I bring this whole incident up as MSNBC and others decided to cover the tributes to the 10th Anniversary of Diana's death. I know that the kids want to memorialize their mother. I applaud them for that. The question I have is, why am I subjected to it? She wasn't my princess. Actually, in fact, my country fought a war so she wouldn't be my princess. I don't understand why my country is being bombarded with images of the monarchy that we dispossessed in 1776 with the ratification of the Declaration of Independence. This might be some of what I find to be wrong with basic celebrity culture, which leads me into my second point.

2) Celebrity Family Expansion is not news

Whenever I go to check my RSS feeds, I, inevitably, find about 10-15 articles from legitimate news sources like the AP, Reuters, and CNN on some piece of minutiae regarding a celebrity. The offending piece I am going to point out today involves the possible expansion of the Jolie-Pitt ad for the United Colors of Benetton. Although it came from the Patriarch doesn't matter to me; it's still not news. Plain and simple.

I'm not super interested in following people's personal lives. Whatever they do behind closed doors is on them. When they are in public, I am more interested. Reading about the lives of the jet set is very interesting, especially since it is a life that I do not aspire to. But, as much as I like reading about the foibles of Kirsten Dunst and La Vida Lohan, I actively acknowledge that this is nothing close to being news. At best, it is entertainment; at worst, petty gossip and backstabbing. Notice the terms that I've used there. Neither of those terms is synonymous with news. That's because gossip nor entertainment are real news. People looking for real news should not have to suffer through reading about stories on Britney flashing her cooter or someone having a baby. Speaking of babies...

3) A Little Girl has died in a mine! Maybe they will actually make them safe for everyone else.

That title gives the whole idea away. The little girl is 13 year old Rikki Howard (I think she's white, which will expedite everything if she is). She fell down a 125 foot mine shaft after an accident on her ATV. She was riding with her 10 year old sister Cassie Hicks, who survived with serious injuries.

As everyone well knows, nothing in America gets solved if it entraps one of two groups of people: poor people and minorities. Minority women are also discredited in America. The only group of women that American legislators care about are white ones. Also, they care about children only because they can use them as a legislative pawn, much in the same was as the troops are. If something happens to a white girl or a child (primarily white, but children are usually clumped together), the American government will take swift action.

Mines are some of the most dangerous places on the face of the planet. Due to years of loose regulation and weak safety laws, the mines have proceeded to kill people at an ungodly rate for no reason at all. Mine safety advocates have wanted reforms for years, but pro-business candidates have been appointed to the seat of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. This clearly means that these reforms will not come.

But, with the death of the young girl, maybe reform will actually come about. Cynical? Yes. True? Absolutely. I guarantee that there will be a renewed call for mine safety because of the girl, not the fact that people just got killed in Utah. And, speaking of dead people (last one, I swear).

4) Iran: We will kill you. Just stop.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (if you want to pronounce it, sound it out. Ah-ma-dee-nuh-jod. It's not that hard) has come out and said that they have 3,000 centrifuges running. For those who are unaware, Iran has been suspected of building nuclear bombs. I should point out to keep people from getting alarmed that Ahmadinejad is over-exaggerating its nuclear capabilities.

Now, I know what Ahmadinejad is doing; he's playing a game of brinksmanship. Ahmadinejad has made an clear play to see what Bush will do. If I can take a moment to talk directly to Mahmoud (we're buddies, don't worry), don't play with Dubya. I know that you are only pressing the line a little bit to check his word, but, I have to tell you, George W. Bush doesn't deal in subtlety. Didn't you hear the "with us or against us" rhetoric he busts out at any given moment? Dubya's not smart enough to deal with such the approach you're presenting. You've really got to stop with this shit, or your country WILL be bombed into the past century. Just some advice from a REAL AMERICAN!

Alright, that's enough for me. I'm going on to celebrate the work of labor by eating food prepared by the hardworking people in America! Yea, LABOR DAY!!!! WOOOOO!