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America – what ARE you paying attention to?

July 6, 2011

Yesterday Facebook and Twitter exploded. Last time I saw that, was the night Osama bin Laden was killed. This time – it was for a court case that has had some of America spellbound. Once again, a fixation with a court case – CNN and other television outlets covering it from opening gavel to summation – to the exclusion of all else in the style of the OJ trial. Since Chief is training, he is forced to eat in the DFAS and since the TVs in the dining hall are either on CNN or Fox, he’s seen a lot more of it than I have watching BBC News.

So what has America missed whilst watching Nancy Grace screeching and pontificating? What have the citizens of this country ignored while salivating over every salient detail of the ridiculous antics of the attorneys?  What else happened that should be of some interest to every man, woman and child in this country, while they sat glued to their TV watching the talking heads babble about what might have been, what should have been, how it may have happened, how they think she did it (and since there was no forensic evidence, that’s all they could do!)….  What else?

These men gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Staff Sgt Michael Garcia
Capt. Matthew G. Nielson
Pfc. James A. Waters
Capt. David E. Van Camp,
Spc. Robert G. Tenney Jr.
Sgt. Chad D. Frokje
Cpl. Kyle R. Schneider,
Spc. Nicholas P. Bernier
Lance Cpl. John F. Farias
Lance Cpl. Mark R. Goyet
Staff Sgt. Donald V. Stacy
Cpl. Michael C. Nolen
1st Lt. Dimitri A. Del Castillo,
Staff Sgt. Nigel D. Kelly
Spc. Kevin J. Hilaman
Staff Sgt. Russell J. Proctor
Pfc. Dylan J. Johnson
Spc. Matthew R. Gallagher
Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Douville
Gunnery Sgt. Ralph E. Pate Jr

These are the names of the men who died since June 26, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty men in a week. Did anyone acknowledge them, their sacrifice, their families sacrifice?  Did their countrymen pause in their shoveling in of hot dogs, blowing up of fireworks or their slavish attention to their 52 inch big screen showing them every second of a court case?  What made this case so crucial?   Was it a cute little girl, the callous indifference of a party animal mama who wanted to have a good time that made this so fascinating to the masses?  I don’t know.  I do know that those men who gave their lives deserved to have that sacrifice acknowledged.

This country has the attention span of a gnat’s arse.  That they managed to hold their attention to this case for almost a month – is amazing.  I suppose expecting them to remember that 1% of us have been dealing with wars for 10 years, is ridiculous of me!

I wonder what the next “thing” will be – will some Hollywood type fall off the wagon, cheat on their spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend, will another politician screw around with a prostitute or send a silly picture on Twitter?  Will anyone remember that we are still in Iraq, still in Afghanistan?  Will they see the planes with the wounded landing at Andrews many times a week?  Do they notice the farewells going on all around them at airports?   I doubt it.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessa Lewis permalink
    July 6, 2011 4:00 pm

    Thank you.

  2. July 6, 2011 5:04 pm

    Fucking A. Couldnt have said it better

  3. Leiyaly permalink
    July 6, 2011 5:49 pm


  4. Leiyaly permalink
    July 6, 2011 5:50 pm

    (and by yes, I mean that I’m in agreement with you and everything you just said)

  5. July 6, 2011 6:02 pm

    agreed 110%. i still don’t know who this woman is or what happened, but i’m pretty sure i don’t care.

  6. Melissa Sellnow permalink
    July 6, 2011 10:52 pm

    I understand your point. However, I don’t think every event in the media should be seen through the military wife lens. No one, least of all us, wants to feel pity. Our military sacrifices enough to warrant a different category of interest. We can be interested in current events while maintaining our commitment and passion towards our loved ones in the military. Surely no one feels like every second of media attention needs to be focused on casualties. We mourn and wretch out our guts at every loss. But the fact that sometimes we notice other things does not make us bad.

    • Karen permalink*
      July 7, 2011 5:39 am

      Interest in current events is what I’m advocating! NOT the peep show of a murder trial. If the attention had been focused on the problem of child abuse and neglect – I’d be cheering from the rooftops! But this tabloid, obsessive, overwhelming, salivating at every word myopic attention to one trial, to one soap opera of a life – is not interest in current events. Notice other things – oh please DO!! notice the budget mess, notice the News of the World phone tapping scandal, notice the floods in the Dakotas, notice the fires in Arizona/New Mexico, notice the drought in Sudan, notice the ongoing conflicts around the globe. Spending 8 hours daily on ‘live coverage’ of a single trial… that’s not interest. That’s obsession.

  7. July 7, 2011 2:01 am

    So, yeah, the death toll of US troops in Iraq is the highest it’s been in two years; amputations of soldiers in Afghanistan has more than doubled in the past few years. And, jeez, military divoces have doubled, and domestic violence has, too. But civilians think – when they think about the wars at all – that all of the troops will be home soon. They also think that since the VA has (and this is a direct quote from a Rotary president) that “since the VA has such a good handle on things, the worst is over.” Mind you, Mr. Rotary is part of the 99%. I gently but firmly dsabused him. “Sir, there’s a train wreck headed toward the nation the likes of which this country has never seen.” Aside from watching the war porn of Coming Home and other emotionally manipulative shows, they Just. Don’t. Know. Which is why I put together Homefront 911, a cure for the epidemic of disconnection.

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