Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Over the weekend the news broke that Slobadan Milosevich had died.  When I first heard the news and saw that it was 'breaking news' I thought to myself, is this really that important of a story.  After all, he has been out of power for some time and has been on trial for War Crimes/Crimes Against Humanity.  As such I dismissed the import of the story and didn't really think much of the issue.
On Saturday evening, my mother had come to visit from out of town for the evening.  She, Wife, a cousin and I went out to dinner.  During dinner the question came up as to whether I had heard anything new about Ariel Sharon after his surgery to remove a portion of his intestines.  After the discussion I put that subject away to, but being a little upset that I didn't have an update.  (Wife stated there probably not that much to report.)
I started thinking about the two independent events on Sunday.  I found that my first reaction to the news of Slobadan Milosevich's death was not really correct, or maybe I should say it wasn't really the correct perspective.  Both stories have some interest to a portion of the public at large, but probably aren't that important in the long view of human history.  It made me wonder what leads a person to put importance on an individual news item, but dismiss or otherwise render less important an item that may not be percieved with as much importance.  I also realized that I find relative 'merit' in suicide bombings in Israel, but really don't find the same type of event anywhere else to be of as much interest.  I find the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq to be much more distressing than the deaths of Iraqi soldiers or civilians.  I find this attitude in myself to be very disturbing, yet I am not really sure that I am unique in this type of attitude.  After all, everyone seems to see the events around them from the perspective that they have, very few people seem to be able to completely separate themselves from their own bias.  I am not really sure where that gets me but I found the journey to that point anyway very usefull.
On a completely unrelated note.  To anyone who felt the need to attack me about the questions last week on smoking, I am really confused.  I was not attempting to attack the institution.  I do find the 'habit' to be disgusting, but I was more interested in the idea that smokers are always complaining about how their 'right' to smoke is being attacked and taken away.  I was just asking if I as someone who has made the choice not to smoke has the right to be free from the smell of smoke.  Nothing more or less.  There was no thought to follow that up with a call to make smoking illegal or anything else.  Actually, I would say that even if that were something I would advocate it it wouldn't work.  Prohibition in this country has never worked, that is why alcohol is legal.  I would go so far as to say that I would advocate the legalization of the various drugs that are currently illegal, but that is a complete discussion for another time.

I'm disappointed in you, I thought you knew that the story that sells is the story that makes the headlines.
I agree that the bias media goes with the BIG news of the day. Thank G-D for the web, I get all my news from it. I also think that legalizing other things could help solve many issues in the world.
Anon: I am not sure that I would say that I didn't know that. The post was really more of a statement of how my thinking on a single story in the news changed because of a conversation about something else. Though I am tired of how the new is put together.

BBS: I go about 50/50 on news sources most of the time, though right now it is more on the radio and little on TV, or the Net because of scheduling.
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