On each side of the Atlantic two tragedies act out before our eyes and a large number of us are part of the problem and part of the solution.
I’m guilty. You have no idea just how guilty I am.
I’m complicit in crimes against humanity and everyday I further compound my guilt.
I fuel media outrage. I fuel media gossip. I fuel the downward spiral of mankind and yet I feel compelled to do so because I enjoy the discussion around it – what I don’t enjoy is knowing the pain that those people must be going through.
In Australia there is a girl. A girl not even 18-years old who sits at the eye of a gossip and media whirlwind. Miss Z tweets, she video blogs, she talks to the press. She is on a one-woman vendetta against the St Kilda football club (AFL).
What worries me the most about this whole situation is that the media, her followers on twitter and YouTube, even her parents seem to have walked away from their humanity. I haven’t heard of one person reaching out a hand to say ‘can I help?’.
I could write for hours on this subject but instead I will link you through to Virginia Trioli’s article that covers this with far more compassion and depth that I am able to http://www.theweeklyreview.com.au/article-display/Little-Girl-Lost/3642
A few thousand miles away the self-destructive (or is he?) @charliesheen has joined Twitter. Within six hours of sending out his first tweet he has amassed nearly 550,000 followers – bear in mind it took Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk and no I don’t follow him) three months to get to the one million follower mark.
He has cemented the hashtag #winner as his rallying call to his fans. But with each tweet, with every interview and with every quote the man seems to be on some kind of head-on collision with either reality or his death.
He seems to be surrounded by people wanting something from him whether it be drugs, money, fame, sex (I’m guessing?!), connections or who knows what. But at the centre of it all is a man with five kids.
Five kids who get to see their dad plastered across the news just like the mother and father of Miss Z have to watch their daughter get slammed by the media as the feed themselves on the tragedies occurring.
I never forget being in Australia and hearing the news about the murder of my uncle. How three teenagers left him in a pile of blood of seven hours before he was found. How they taunted him laughing about the damage they did to him.
Then I remember reading the news stories surrounding the case – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4513896.stm
I felt helpess.
I felt lonely.
I felt angry
I feel the same way when I see Charlie Sheen and Miss Z.
I want to reach out and tell them that they don’t have to do what they are doing – just like I would tell those kids who attacked my uncle that they didn’t have to do it.
I want to tell Charlie Sheen and Miss Z that at some point their lives will get better and they will regret what they are doing. I’d love the media to pull away and find different stories to write. To tell them to just walk away and stop using it to fill gaps in the news cycle. I want to tell everyone I know to stop mentioning it, stop talking about it and to stop keeping the story going.
But I don’t and I’m as guilty as all the others who tweet about it and who write about it. I don’t do anything…and that, like the loss of my uncle, is the tragedy.