TWITTER: @sirbacon123

02 July 2010

Page 16A

I subscribe to a bunch of magazines.
It used to be more, before the financial reevaluation brought on by unemployment, but I still enjoy the ones I get.
I get Rolling Stone and Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly.
ESPN the Magazine and I think one or two others.
Playboy was a casualty of the unemployment.  
It’s too bad, because they had great articles.
Unfortunately I don’t always get a chance to read the magazines when they arrive.
In fact, many times I have to wait until I have a plane trip to catch up on all of the latest news.
Well, by the time I read the magazines it’s no longer news, but in a two-hour flight I can usually breeze through 10 or 12 periodicals.
On my last trip I learned that Bob Hope had passed away.
So sad. 
I loved his gasoline commercials.
I do get the morning newspaper delivered to my home and I am usually able to skim through that within a day or two of its arrival.
Today on my lunch break, I set aside time to read today's paper.
What a concept.
As much as I love the Internet, and how in the world did we live without it, there is still something special about getting the ink on your fingertips.
My dad taught me that.
I usually flip from page to page pretty quickly until a headline or picture captures my attention.
At that point, I breeze through the article until I find some cool piece of information I can share with someone to make it look like I read the morning paper.
“Can you believe that ________ (insert fact here).”
“I read it in the paper this morning.”
I love people who quote the Wall Street Journal or New York Times to make sure you know just how smart they really are.
Well this morning I made it to page 16A without anything really catching my eye.
That’s when I saw this headline:
That was the top story in the “World Briefs” section of my local paper.
The article was three paragraphs long with a total of 60 words.
On page 16A.
I realize I live like a trillion miles away from Pakistan and I don’t spend a whole lot of time keeping up on Pakistani News, but 35 people died and 175 people were wounded it made page 16A?
Two suicide bombers struck a popular Muslim shrine in Pakistan’s second-largest city wiping out basically the entire company I am working with now.
16A?  16A!
I don’t know how that bombing may have affected you, but if I wasn’t writing a blog these days, it would’ve taken me about 1.5 seconds to move on to page 17A.
And that is terrible.
Fortunately that bombing didn’t affect my life, but it did eliminate the lives of mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons.
Of real people.
Are we that numb to the violence that is going on around the world on a daily basis that the end of 35 lives and the damage done to hundreds of others is barely a blip on our radar screen?
It’s not my local newspaper’s fault.
I’m not blaming anyone.
It’s just sad.
I realize there are certain parts of the world that are MUCH more dangerous than others, but when did the loss of 35 lives become a three paragraph story on page 16A?
The disgusting massacre at Virginia Tech killed 32 people for no reason.
The horrendous events at Columbine High School killed 13 people, including a dozen innocent children and one brave teacher.
Three months after Columbine, Mark Barton, someone described as a man, killed his wife, son and daughter and then nine others at a pair of Atlanta day trading firms.
Those were all front-page news here in the United States and they should’ve been.
On January 29, 1986, the headline in EVERY newspaper in this country (and probably world) was the tragic news of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
I remember after the accident, going back to see where my local paper -- the legendary Los Angeles Times -- had run the story that previous morning of the upcoming launch.
A launch, which had been delayed five different times that week and was quite historical considering that it included Christa McAuliffe, a High School teacher looking to become the first teacher in space.
If my memory is correct, insert joke here, I recall a small article somewhere near the bottom of a page in the mid-20’s, perhaps 24.
Whether it was actually 24 or even 14, I can guarantee it wasn’t on page 1, a place that unfortunately it occupied that next day.
People have always said that bad news sells.
And that nobody reports on somebody making it home safely.
Unfortunately 35 human beings didn’t make it home safely yesterday.
But you better read the fine print or you will miss it.

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