Saturday, January 16, 2010


This morning, my eyes caught an article  picked up by the mainstream print media, quoting Harrison Ford, empathizing with the displaced  Conan O'Brien.  The fall guy in the late night TV talk show drama unfolding in Hollywood, O'Brien has been unceremoniously bumped by EGO oozing Jay Leno whose prime time experiment went tits up in less than 7 months.  Did anyone except NBC not see this as a failure from the beginning? Does anyone really care.  According to Harrison Ford, "it's just a tough, tough world...."  You said it Indiana Jones.

The story literally caught in my throat.  It's absurdity floored me.  After watching the consistently tragic news coming out of Haiti since the earthquake,  the very idea that anyone is paying attention to this absolutely ridiculous story and considers it serious?  Sure, joke about it.  Revel in the absurdity of it. But take it seriously?  Its beyond my comprenhension.

So is the crisis in Haiti. I can't stop thinking about the victims, the relief workers, the grieving families, and the complete and utter chaos in a country which has been waiting to for disaster to happen. 

I can hardly watch.  I can hardly read their stories. Tonight, I turned on the news channel.  A Canadian reporter was standing in front of a group of babies and toddlers who were dressed in clean clothes and looked safe and well cared for. They were all sitting on little mats on a patch of grass.  150 innocent little ones looking up at the camera.  The journalist explained that they were orphans.... their families all missing and feared dead, many from the latest earthquake.  Then, he walked and talked explaining that two women from Pittsburgh, who run an orphanage (how many orphanages are there in Haiti???) was responsible for caring for them.  The camera then turned its lens to take in a demolished building and alleyway that led to what the reporter described a nursery.  Under that rubble lay more than 70 children. Dead.

They keep stumbling across people who have been buried are still alive under the massive amounts of cement rubble!  It is unimaginable to me. Daycare centres, hospitals, hotels, shacks, cathedrals, apartments, stores, restaurants, super markets ...... through sniffer dogs, they keep finding signs of life amidst the devastation.  Incredible miracles in the sea of death.

This is a week when all the eyes of the world have turned towards the same island which has known corruption, violence and extreme poverty forever.  Money and human efforts to help save the poorest of the poor is flowing in from all continents. Tons upon tons of food, water, health supplies, as well as rescue workers and armed forces are arriving by the hour.  Through this emotional event, we have been reminded what extreme poverty means ..... the majority of families in Haiti live on less then 600 dollars per year. 

On the day when the rescue miracles are quickly fading in Haiti, when the stench of thousands of dead bodies permeates the hot humid island air, rumour has it that Conan O'Brien will receive a 30 million dollar severance package and most likely a handshake.

It's just a tough tough world.....................


selkie said...

pathetic. and shameful.

Carmi said...

Like Selkie so aptly put it, the situation is indeed pathetic and shameful. Your words, however, are poignant and perfectly placed. I tweeted the following on Thursday and was touched by the responses that came back:

"My fear: Once the immediacy of the quake's aftermath passes, will the world forget Haiti once more? Praying it doesn't."

Indeed, the world never seems to get its priorities straight. Life as we know it is shattered into a million pieces in the one place on the planet that can least afford it, yet mainstream media spends as much time ruminating over the Leno/O'Brien thing, Tiger Woods, or any number of meaningless, trivial pieces of so-called "news".

I'd banish Mary Hart to a Port Au Prince suburb if I could.

awareness said... really is.

Carmi.... I had to rein myself in while writing this piece. Usually the msm over dramatizes the most recent global tragedy, but this time there was no need. It was so evident that the journalists and others involved in "getting the story out" were rattled and emotionally barely holding on as they conveyed one story after another.
The antics of the entertainment industry do add much needed diversion from the daily barrage of extremely sad stories from around the world. I'll give it that. But to receive the unrelenting antics, be it a golfer who can't keep his putter in his pants, or an actor who can't seem to find a limo driver to escort him home when he's had just a little too much fun, or a bunch of comedians feasting off one another, as serious stuff? The over the top coverage of crotch grabbing psychologically damaged Michael Jackson's untimely death was enough to hold a referendum on banishing entertainment shows! C'mon! Get a grip! Besides everyone knows Craig Ferguson rules the late night airwaves!!!

ps. And what's with the Canadian National news....both print and media highlighting the Leno/O'Brien story as a top story several days in a row?? Hello??? Even on a slow news week, this is shameful.

Gypsy said...

It really is a disgrace. Have these media people no shame?

Word Verification: slyhost

On a limb with Claudia said...

What a great point! Why do we give Hollywood so much of our attention when there is so much suffering in the world?

Poor Conan? Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

I think you meant to say $6 per day not $600 per day

awareness said...

Gypsy.... I don't know why the media feeds this either.

Claudia.... I think its a good diversion when surrounded by a sea of really sad stories. We all need a whiff of humour at least every single day. It helps keep us balanced, but honestly, you'd think it was a catastrophe of unlimited proportions the way the media has glommed onto that ridiculous story. Fodder for jokes, yes. Serious news? no.

Anon.... THANK you! It is less than 600 hundred dollars per year, not day. Less than 2 dollars a day.

urbanmonk said...

the lack of justice is so obvious to everyone. But still we do nothing and accept (ignore?) life as it is. How can we? One day it will be our cities that lie in ruins and our corpses cluttering the streets with stink. No doubt western entrepeneurial businesses are licking their lips right now preparing their tender applications.

Selma said...

It makes me want to weep. Actually, I have cried for the people of Haiti. What they are going through is beyond comprehension. The thought of the children under the rubble is just....

I like Conan O'Brien but at this moment in time - who cares? He will never have to fight in the streets for fresh water.

It's a tragedy.

Canuckguy said...

You can't expect the media to only talk about Haiti. The event is getting a lot of attention as is but just because it is a tragedy on a massive scale, it is unrealistic to expect 100% coverage at the exclusion of everything else, important or silly. It is pointless to condemn that.

Jen said...

I was clueless about the whole Leno-O'Brien thing until last night. My husband filled me in.

MSM is really just junk food for the mind. It's honestly depressing for me. There is no real news in the mainstream news anymore, in my opinion.

But late at night, when I need a giggle...there is always, always, the fine, the handsome, the gregarious, Craig Ferguson!!!

Hello, my pretty little pony..

mmmmm. I loves me some Craig.


kenju said...

I seldom see late-night TV and I watched Leno at 10pm once and was not sufficiently impressed to watch again. That, along with Tiger and many other stories we see nowadays, are not important, interesting or worth spending time reading or watching.

At to Haiti, it makes me cry and I cannot watch any more of it.

awareness said...

Monk! Now that's an upbeat prediction! Its time then to start our own humane revolution!

Selma.... lets hope all of those late night frat boys have lifted their heads and looked around a bit this week. There's a need to put their excessively $$$ in perspective. Maybe they will donate a million dollars or two like other celebs are doing.

Canuckguy....that was my point. I guess I missed the mark, though I think I mentioned it here in the comments. Sure, it's fine to take notice of these stories, but not only did OUR national media at one point last week make the Conan/Jay conflict the TOP story, it continued to report it like it was drama rather than what it really is, bullshit.

Jen, I have to agree with you. Though I do have a few favourites I will still read, no matter which msm it is, there is a huge bias one way or the other. I live in a part of this country where ALL of the media is owned by one family.... they also own the majority of the wood harvested, and the gas and oil purchased. Hey no bias there. :)

As for Craig. Sorry honey, he's mine.

Judy.... If I watch late night, it's Letterman, or Stewart. If I'm up REALLY REALLY late (because there's an hour difference between me and you) I will always watch Craig Ferguson. His sense of humour cuts me in two! I love him.

As for the coverage of Haiti? I watched an update tonight at dinner, but shouldn't have. I didn't sleep last night.... was whacked with graphics pictures in my dreams. It's too horrific. I told my husband tonight that if we were 10 years younger, we'd be right in the middle of adopting some of those orphans.

Gilly said...

Most of your written blogs resonate with me. And make me think. And sometimes want to yell "Yes, I know! I've been there!"

I fear very much that the Haitian news will be pushed to the inside pages of the newspapers, and then trail off. Which is to our shame.

Left behind will be the suffering, bereaved, injured and dead. There will be, as always, Aid Agencies helping, operating, comforting and trying to piece together again the bits that were Haiti.

Of course we think it is terrible. In particular those Cruise ships that land over fed and sheltered, selfish men and women to eat and drink against the backdrop of death.

But there wouldn't be the obsessive interest in "stars" and their sexual and fashion agendas if there wasn't the readership out there, salivating over their latest antics. (the Stars, not the readers' antics. Though maybe not.)

Sorry, I feel strongly about it all!