On Saturday evening, I sat down to eat dinner and turned on the news. Habitually, I tend to flick through the various international news stations in an effort to avoid programs such as Business Today, Technology Yesterday and Wall Street Tomorrow. Perhaps I am peculiar, as when I turn on a news station I like to watch something called news, which unfortunately for me tends to be much more difficult to find than it sounds. On Saturday, Whitney Houston’s Funeral dominated the news channels with CNN, BBC, Euronews, NBC, HBC, TSB, and the vast majority of the stations programmed on my decoder between channel 200 and 250 all showing the glitzy, star-spangled send off. It was therefore left to Al Jazeera to feed my appetite. After watching a documentary about the revolution in Tunisia, they unbelievably had some news. Strangely they didn’t start with Whitney, instead they led with a story about an Iranian Warship entering the Mediterranean for the first time in fifty-something years. Quite stunned by the fact there was some real news going on somewhere, I quickly flicked back to BBC and CNN to check what they were showing. I was delighted to see that they were still bringing us blow-by-blow coverage of Whitney Houston’s funeral, as I like the rest of humanity can see that there isn’t a greater threat to world peace than someone not singing someone else’s song, which was written by someone else, well enough to befit the memory of such a legendary voice. It’s with that thought in mind I have decided to create an exercise to try to figure out why the likes of the BBC and CNN chose to cover the funeral, as opposed to any actual significant news, like an act of aggression from a rogue state, or something. And to demonstrate just how intelligent this exercise is, I shall use numbered points.
- Whitney Houston dead is more dangerous than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is alive.
- Iran recently ordered the assassinations of a number of Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia and Thailand. Whitney Houston successfully assassinated millions of brain cells with the aid of a crack pipe.
- Iran is run by religious extremists, Houston was extremely religious.
- Iran is trying to develop nuclear bombs, Whitney Houston’s voice was ‘da bomb’
- Whitney Houston was on her journey to heaven, the Iranian battleship was only going to Syria.
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is often paranoid, irrational and delusional. Whereas Whitney Houston was perfect. It’s a good job drug addicts don’t have comedowns.
It seems somewhat amazing that in the 21st century our obsession with celebrities now trumps world peace in the public domain. In death comes a massive loss of perspective. In any communal grieving process a pattern often emerges. It becomes something of a pissing competition as each person tries to bestow greater platitudes than the next. It is absurd.
Something has gone wrong with the world. We have taken our eyes off the ball and are content to be a race of Homer Simpsons just doing the best we can until the day we die. We have accepted our meaninglessness, so much so that we seldom use our brains. Our reality is bigger than we are. Our aptitude for denial is immeasurable. I am only trying to point out that we are doing it wrong. That somewhere in the shadows of the last century we left sanity behind and instead bought into cultural oblivion. An oblivion which we not only chose, but invested in with both our hearts and our credit cards. Obviously you don’t have to take my word for it, after all my funeral will never even be mentioned on CNN. But this guy’s might….