Recently we have experienced the passing of some who were noteworthy, famous, somewhat famous, and infamous. All their passings were noted by the country and media to lesser or greater degrees but not necessarily equivalent to their contributions to society, the world, the country, the emotions of the people.
Two touched me more than the others. One was Molly Ivins – a remarkably talented journalist who told it like it is no matter who agreed or disagreed with her. She lost her long battle with breast cancer and went down fighting, writing one of her signature progressive columns only a short time before she died. The other that touched me was Barbaro… I have always loved horses and this one was a winner all the way both on and off the track. He fought the good fight as hard as he could and finally couldn’t defeat the injury that ended his racing career. He was a happy horse to the end according to all who were with him – and his loss is very sad, at least to me.
Others who left this world recently were singers
And then there was Anna Nicole Smith, a woman whose childhood and life were tragic and sad creating a sad figure who managed to parlay her face and figure into a multi- million dollar fortune. She was famous for being famous, not for any accomplishment or talent or contribution other than to the salacious appetites of the country at large. That is its own commentary on this country which is perhaps even more tragic and sad.
That Anna Nicole Smith’s death has received the volume of media attention that it has when the others were mentioned, given a story or two on the evening news, more in passing than in depth, to my mind is truly a condemnation of our values. Yes, it is tragic that someone 39 years old died, leaving a 5 month old baby who cannot even claim clear paternity; that she may well have died because of her own addiction is even more tragic and sad; that the country and people around her were more into profiting from her rather than really helping her is the worst tragedy of all. But does that deserve hours of coverage on cable news stations, main stream media networks, print media, etc.?
Watching that spectacle makes me understand more what is going on in our government. It is not the positive that is celebrated but the negative; it is not the good of the people but the special interests that matter; it is not the real moral values that are prized but the superficial ones that act as hot buttons for fanatics.
What does it say about an administration that wants to build more bombs while cutting funding to the arts? An administration that cuts back on health care for the uninsured but gives tax breaks to impossibly profitable oil companies? An administration that cares about your morals but not their own? An administration that doesn’t care who suffers and dies as long as it’s not them or one of their own?
And what does it say about we the people who allow this to continue, sitting back and watching while our elected representatives seem reluctant to see the message we tried to send in November – that we are fed up and want CHANGE!!!!