What Is Wrong With Our Culture?
What is it about our culture that makes us care so much about one dead pop star, and so little about so many others? Why do you have to go back two hours on Twitter to get twenty mentions of the Uyghurs, but you only have to go back one minute (!) to get twenty mentions of Michael Jackson?
Twice today I counted the occurrences of the word “Jackson” on cnn.com. The first reading caught twenty-seven instances. The second reading caught twenty instances. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China/Uyghurs got one mention each at most, and all mentions were pushed down to a much less prominent part of the page.
Our mass media is broken in that it promotes insignificant stories and neglects extremely important stories. It is also broken in that the stories themselves are filled with propaganda. But the mass media isn’t the only thing that is broken. Our culture is broken in that, when people go to cnn.com and see it plastered with “MICHAELJACKSONMICHAELJACKSONMICHAELJACKSON” they don’t have a mental gag reflex that says, “What the hell is this? I came to this website to see the news, not this crap. Surely there is a better source of news. I am going to go look for that source right NOW.”
What is it that causes this blatant disregard for the rest of the world, the significant things that are occurring in this world, the horrible injustices that are being carried out, many of them in our names?
This post has not been revised since publication.