I find myself in a sort of weird space I keep trying to read the news and I keep seeing the same picture — Annie Lebowitz’s picture of Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair. It is included in articles about the IOC and ESPN and people’s mostly positive responses (at least in the things I read). The celebration of “trans rights” as the next big social justice issue among liberals and my children’s generation makes it makes it impossible to say I don’t care about the larger issues. Heck, I apparently have an acquaintance/friend from years who is trans.
Maybe it’s me, but it’s just not an issue I’m willing to die for — or if it is, it’s way down on the list. Caitlyn Jenner , however, is a whole other issue. So, one guy deserves to be happy and can express himself as a woman and that’s the subject of praise and adulation? The man/woman has been famous for years, has been rich for years, and his family is wealthier than many small countries, has been on every cover of every magazine at the grocery store for probably a year — and he/she needs more publicity?
I worry when the media covers what I would call “made up issues” — little Jimmy in the well, the puppy in the sewer pipe, the latest viral video and it’s impact on larger society, or whatever is supposed to The Thing We All Care About For 24 Hours that will have a book tour and a movies made about it’s success later.
People in Nepal will be digging out for a long time and need things like clean air and clean water, food, clothing and shelter and what are we talking about? One man’s happiness when dressed like a woman. ISIS is beheading people and countries are being taken over and we care about the freedom of speech/right to self-expression of one person? In our own country, children are being shot by police, men and women have been arrested with no real reason and we worry about a person who lives better than all of them and is able to walk around freely — and gets paid for it?
There are so many other issues to focus on, and so may “smaller” people to talk about. The woman in the city with four children whose husband can’t get work because he is black, while the government takes away their voting rights and their insurance — that’s a family of 6 people who should also have the right for self-expression that one person in Beverly Hills has. I am aware that “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, but I think we need to more concerned about things lower on Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs. Let’s keep people alive first, Let’s stand up for the rights of more than one person. The first form of expression is being alive in a country that does want you to be. Those are the stories I want to hear about. I want to hear stories of people helping each other out rather than stories of people putting the focus on themselves.
I don’t want to be distracted any more.