Today is September 11th in the States and of course the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on that day in 2001. Yet despite this event being a significant factor in modern western history, I feel pretty pissed every year when the media is expected to saturate our senses in reminders. Not because the lives lost should not be commemorated with love, but because there are so many other tragic atrocities in our recent history, and occurring every day, that are swept under the rug without a single boo-hoo.
Who are we to act as though one life is worth more than another? Is your life more valuable if you were born in the U.S. of A? Is your death more newsworthy? Or, like trying to wring the last drops of water from a wet towel, is the annual reminder of 9/11 a continued attempt to emotionally manipulate the public opinion on middle-eastern politics for as long as possible?
Unfortunately, the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, were not the peak and epitome of human evil or natural tragedy to wipe out innocent lives. We remember some events together, such as World War II – more than 60 million people were estimated at being killed, which was over 2.5% of the world’s population at the time. The Japanese Tsunami, a natural disaster – perhaps 20,000 people lost their lives. Both the Haiti earthquake and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami took out about 230,000 people each.
Then there are more uncomfortable memories. The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing maybe 225,000 people. And by the end of the Vietnam War, the United States had dropped MORE THAN TWICE AS MANY bombs on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia than the TOTAL number of bombs dropped on the ENTIRETY of Europe and Asia during World War II. That is lots and lots and lots of bombs.
NBC’s Today show came under fire today for choosing to interview Kris Jenner of Kardashian ridiculousness, and talk about her fake old tits, as opposed to, I guess, very solemnly showing footage of the second plane slamming into the World Trade Centre. What extremely hypocritical criticism, considering on a daily basis, every other day of the year, News Reporters are free to present us with the exact same type of celebrity bullshit trollop they call "news", as opposed to covering actual world and social concerns.
During the Vietnam War, the public protested against it, marched in the streets, and let their voices be heard. Why the awakening? T.V’s had just started to become common, and with that, the violence of the world was brought into peoples homes, for all to see, and families were confronted by the images of war every night in their living rooms. Today technology and communication is much more advanced, but with that, our sensitivity to violence and nativity has decreased. Nowadays kids can play Grand Theft Auto video games, where they learn to have sex with prostitutes and then kill them to get their money back for extra points. So we want news to make us feel warm and fuzzy and good at the end of the day.
A few days ago I read an extremely composed, professional, an eloquent letter written by women performing a hunger strike outside the Arab League Headquarters. Described as a "group of independent female Syrian personalities" they wrote of their demands to end bloodshed, based on the concerns that, "with a new school year approaching" their children are not only deprived of an education which will prevent them from building secure futures, but also, their children are in extreme danger and exposed to the risk of being arrested, tortured, raped, and killed, on a daily basis. "The situation of the Syrian people is more than any human can endure." They said. A shocking and disgusting situation yet seemingly another event that the main stream media sweeps under the rug, while more importantly, NBC Today is criticized for featuring Kris Jenner and her fake tits, as opposed to screening repeat footage of 11 year old news.
By all means, honor loved ones who have been taken from the world, either through manmade evil or a natural catastrophe. But I do not understand why we mourn mankind so selectively. It’s been eleven expensive and bloody years since George W. Bush declared “War on Terror” but what action has been taken to prevent more innocent people being slayed in violence, no matter where they are? Do we recognize other victims, do we seek to prevent their deaths, and then protect them? Surely this would be the lesson to be learned and the best way to honor the dead.
“No man is an island, entire of itself ... Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” - John Donne
Popular competitions and giveaways from Gimme.co.nz: NZ's People Powered Guide to Free Stuff. Links will open on Gimme.
Join Voxy on Google+.