Warning- This post contains images that readers may find disturbing.
Something happened in the last week. Something shocking, horrifying, beyond comprehension.
If you were to read the newspapers, or watch mainstream news broadcasts, you may think I’m referring to the Essendon football club drug ‘scandal’. After all, that has been making headlines not just in the last week but for months. Apparently a decision was made this week, normal TV programing was interrupted for breaking press conferences and special edition sports programs. It was the leading story on all news bulletins. Front page of the newspapers.
Or perhaps if you had a quick look at social media, you may think I’m referring to Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMA awards? That certainly got people talking; my news feed has been flooded with photos and video of her performance, everyone has an opinion on that particular ‘issue’.
If you are a regular reader of blogs, as I am, you may be wracking your brain to try and think of what hot topics have been written about in the past week. The recent crop of posts doing the rounds have been debating the merits of posting make-up free ‘selfies’ on social media. Lots of discussion around that issue has been going on in the ‘blogosphere’.
Last week in the early hours of the 21st of August, it was reported that rockets with toxic agents were launched at the Ghouta region of Syria, killing up to 1000 civilians including many children. Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011 and President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces has been accused of carrying out the attack, although this has yet to be confirmed.
So to reiterate, up to one thousand people; men, women and children have been murdered by a chemical weapon attack, possibly carried out by their own government. There is footage of people dying. They are suffocating on poisonous gas, convulsing, foaming at the mouth and nose.
UN weapons inspectors are currently investigating what exactly happened and who was behind it. The USA, UK and France are considering a military strike against Syria. Russia and China are allies of Syria and are strongly opposing any military action.
Why is nobody talking about this? Why is this not headlining every news bulletin and on the front of every newspaper? When did sport become more newsworthy than crimes against humanity? Why is there more collective outrage about a pop star dirty dancing on stage than a government murdering its own citizens?
Truth be told, I am sickened. Not just by the horror that is happening over in Syria but also the horror at our apathy towards these attacks, our apathy about the death of men, women and children; poisoned allegedly by their own government. I’m sickened by our media who think it’s more important to report on sport or entertainment. I’m sickened at the lack of social commentary on an issue of such grave importance.
It is time to start talking about this. It is time to demand that the media stop treating us like shallow, small minded simpletons. It is time to stop being outraged by TV performances, video clips, song lyrics and be outraged about things that really matter, things that are affecting humanity, not just our precious sensibilities.
Please. It’s time to wake up and pay attention.