“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.“ -Eleanor Roosevelt
I hate MTV‘s ‘Jersey Shore’ with the deepest passion imaginable. When it comes on, my roommates crowd around the television to watch this hour of ridiculousness. Call me a prude but I don’t think anyone’s sexual misfortunes and drunken adventures should be on public television, especially when youthful eyes are watching. During my university stint, I had the privilege of interviewing Neal Sacharow, a then public relations representative for the Writer’s Guild of America during the 2007 Writer’s Strike. The strike was compromised of many issues; one of the debates surrounded the lack of written content in reality television, which alas as the genre continues to grows and become more popular, jobs will eventually be lost. Being a big fan of scripted series like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Will and Grace,’ I want to write television screenplays. I never understood why people watch others live out their lives on the tube instead of being involved in their own and creating their own adventures. With the rise of reality television, I’m afraid that there will eventually be no quality written content for would-be writers like myself.
On the daily news, I watched the conflict in Cairo grow. Eager to talk about it with someone, I asked a co-worker what she thought about it. She responded with a puzzled look on her face and asked me what was going on. I was dumbfounded. News about Egypt was everywhere- all of the major network channels, online, even on the morning radio program. When the Wikileaks story first broke loose, I wanted to argue about the pros and cons about the faulty website but found no one to debate with. A few weeks ago, I was listening to NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’ interview Nat Hentoff, a journalist who has wrote for NYC’s ‘Village Voice.’ Hentoff wrote for ‘VV’ for the last fifty years, reporting about music (i.e. Bob Dylan, the Beatles), local and national politics and different New York City scandals. I thought about what the people around me were talking about: the Super Bowl, the so-called horrendous shoes a supervisor was wearing that day, the Real Housewives of Whatever County. They aren’t talking about the president’s latest decisions or coming up with ideas on how we should be fixing the economy. Footwear; they were talking about footwear. No wonder these journalistic legends were losing their jobs- no one cares about the issues they once did.
I wonder with this lack of knowledge if I am in the wrong about everything. I criticize myself for thinking too much. Most of the time, I overanalyze, causing headaches and early bedtimes. I am starting to believe that these people around me must have learned a life secret I haven’t yet discovered. Maybe thinking simpler is the key to an easy and better life. You wouldn’t get consumed by all the negativity and bad news around you. You wouldn’t lose sleep at night knowing wars are going on and someone’s car around the corner is getting broken into. Your head wouldn’t hurt as you tried to figure out the correct way to address your governor in a plea letter for the reinstatement of your area’s Planned Parenthood. Hearts wouldn’t be broken knowing the national unemployment rate as you watched a ‘Feed the Children’ ad on PBS. Creativity and inspiration wouldn’t be celebrated and strived for unless it was a painted nude dancer grinding in a music video. Is this the way that we should be living? It seems like it. Maybe naivety is ACTUALLY genius.
I understand that there are too many problems in the world for one person to solve in their lifetime. But with staying well-versed, we can bring a small glimmer of light to a cause’s darkness. If you don’t know, then you can’t care. Stay informed and fight for something you believe in.