I have to admit - I watched the Casey Anthony verdict. I got sucked in. And I feel horrible about it.
Not that I didn't care. I wanted to see justice done for this innocent little girl who had obviously had her sweet life cut short at the hands of some selfish ingrate. But I do regret the precious time I allotted to Casey Anthony and her story and the media, when I could have been doing something much more constructive.
Seeing this endless coverage everywhere and having it be the topic of conversation on nearly everyone's lips made me think - gee, if we all rallied around something that could really CHANGE THE WORLD, how cool would that be?
What if - just WHAT IF - we got all up in the grill of world hunger like we did with Tiger Wood's affair? And what about if we jumped all over homelessness like we jumped on Senator Weiner for sending lewd cell phone pictures? What if we spent some quality time thinking of ways of solving the national debt instead of wondering how Maria Shriver went for so many years without knowing her housekeeper's son was fathered by her husband?
I saw a photo of Arnold Schwarzenneger recently where he was smiling and giving the "thumbs up". The caption read, "Thanks, Weiner!" Obviously, being the story of the week sucks - until someone else does something even more lewd and lascivious - then you're old news.
Just like Japan. Remember when that was all we talked about? How we were glued to the TV, watching every latest development at the nuclear power plant, mourning the dead who never had a chance and cheering for every survivor? Remember all the outlets that were raising money for the Red Cross to help these poor people who had been devastated beyond human belief? Well, do you think they're all OK now? Nope. Probably not. But we haven't heard hide nor hair of them via the media in recent months. Why? Because our own train wreck of a society has taken over once again.
I really don't give a shit about Lady Gaga. Nor do I care to read an article on how the hot dog eating champ recovers from eating 20,000 calories. And I can't believe we actually give press to Beyonce's bad hair day.
Shame on us.
Honestly, I don't fault the media for reporting the news. It is, in fact, the news, whether it be informative, devastating, entertaining or cautionary. But have you ever heard the expression "beating a dead horse"? Between all the media analysts and political (and otherwise) talk show hosts and "continuous live coverage", we're being sucked in to media no man's land like a Hoover vacuum on crack.
I wish we could somehow turn the tide - somehow divert all these news reporters and tabloid writers and talk show hosts to set their sights on solving problems rather than completely bleaching every story about a human vice, or foible or abhorrent behavior like that of the Casey Anthony trial. Let's not pretend that we were the Casey Anthony jurors, because we weren't. We all have our opinions based on how the media portrayed the event and how much television coverage we watched. At the end of the day, are we any wiser? Did we help anyone? Nope. Did you get that warm fuzzy of satisfaction after you read that latest news report on Arnie and his bastard baby? Probably not. And suffice it to say that the wedding of William and Kate didn't up your IQ too many points, no matter how much you listened to the fancy accents.
So let's say we tally up all that worthless time we spend gawking at the uppities and downfalls of the human race and spend that much time serving meals at a homeless shelter. Or trade in our Googling for visiting a shut-in. Or instead of poisoning our minds with tabloids and reality shows, let's pick up litter in our neighborhoods. Or teach our kids to throw a baseball instead of work a remote.
I'm going to try it. I'm guilty as charged for getting wrapped up in the silly drama of individuals who aren't contributing jack squat to society but somehow receive hours of my time. What we all have to realize that at some point, our attention given to this worthless crap is taking away from the real problems in our society - some of which are solvable if we get off the couch, put down the Enquirer and lend a hand somewhere where it will make a difference.
Who's with me?