Sunday, November 26, 2006

So Typically American

I began the morning after Thanksgiving watching Good Morning America for the latest headlines and live shots of my fellow techies at Best Buys all over the nation. That's what I got.
First I got an urgent story about the fact that Iraq is most likely falling into full blown civil war and they have officially logged the deadliest civilian day so far in the history of this debacle. I saw footage of families digging through rubble to find remains, dead bodies being loaded on carts to remove them from burning debris, civilians holding up photos of loved ones missing which was eerily reminiscent of 9/11.

(dust off hands) Okay, on to the next story: Black Friday is off to an incredible start! Lines of consumers wrapped around the buildings, stampedes of shoppers as the doors open at 5am--4am--12:01am--9pm Thanksgiving night...all for a $2.99 DVD or a free mouse pad.

Doesn't there seem to be an awkward transition between these two stories? It feels strange to me when the top story is so terrible and then we are immediately thrust into a huge story on how greedy/desperate we are. (By desperate I mean that we NEED the bargains in order to have Christmas at all in some cases. That is another blog topic.)

Now don't get me wrong. I have been a part of such lines before. Probably would have been out there again had there been something I really wanted. I am among the worst of the tech heads lusting after the latest gadgets and systems. And girl you know I love a sale! But I, for one, am glad I wasn't part of the hubbub. Not just because I am growing increasingly agoraphobic, but because I would have missed a moment to put myself in someone elses shoes. It just feels wrong to be out slinging ourselves into debt when our fellow man is searching for loved ones in rubble. Rubble that is our fault.

It's no coincidence that the story of this deadly day in Iraq aired when most of America was either asleep or in line at Wal-Mart. It's sort of like the Friday 5:30pm info that gets dribbled every week from the White House. No one pays attention to Friday evening news or Saturday morning papers.
I am increasingly conflicted over this. It has been bothering me a lot. I feel like I need to take some sort of stand. Some sort of boycott. I don't know how to move forward and make a conscious difference. I've long thought of making an ever-changing bumper sticker which posts all of the military and civilian deaths. Not the most positive message but a reminder to those following me in traffic. The problem with that is the accuracy of numbers, especially the Iraqi deaths. Try to get a straight answer on that one! I could shoot for 100K+ and be safe.

Why in the world do we stand for another country experiencing daily civilian deaths, when if that were happening here there would be immediate outrage, special commissions, tribute songs and of course a ribbon.
3,709 Iraqi civilians died in the month of October.

No comments: