It was so graphic that CBS even halted replays of the leg break.. It’s most obviously the water cooler talk this morning and will be rehashed over and over again throughout the day.
When it happened, however, something else struck me about the affair. Immediately Twitter lit up with people’s thoughts, and my Facebook friends’ collective chatter was all about Ware. I get it.. It was a sports injury live on TEE VEE, it was enough to make you queasy.. and we all celebrate March Madness like it’s a religious event. So it makes sense..
But what is absent from Twitter and my Facebook friends’ profiles? Any or all words about innocent children killed in drone attacks in Pakistan. Any and all stories about the civilians’ lives we left in shambles in Iraq after ten years of war (those who survived).. And and all knowledge of North Korean death camps.. Any and all information about, well, pretty much anything to do with the African continent.
I guess I reluctantly understand this. I come from the coal region, where football and sports is worshiped. Often, high school players get a VIP treatment.. And nationally, as the economic crumbling still happens and the moral decay is evident, we turn more and more to sports .. it’s a vacuum that sucks up the depression. We cheer on our high-paid professionals as though they know we are doing it.. we cry and wine about the other team that simply wears a different uniform color. We get angry and argue about college kids on a court.. and yes, when one falls by the wayside, we gather around the young hero and honor him with glory—of course while we voyeuristically gratify ourselves by watching the hero’s injury take place over and over again.
Not to take anything away form Kevin Ware, but it’s certainly amazing how little we know about a worldwide network of pedophiles.. How little we know about the amount of drone attacks in Pakistan.. how little we are aware of the Monsanto Protection Act..
But we know batting averages.
And hell, even professional wrestling stars’ real names.
A few days ago I posted something on my Facebook page about the concerns I have with the Monsanto Protection Act, as signed into law by President Obama. My sister commented in a straight-shooting fashion:
Nobody cares about genetically modified corn until there is a crop failure like there was in South Africa in 2009. If fuel and veggie prices skyrocket…then they’ll care. Until then…this is tin foil hat stuff to most, Bryan.
And I bet no one knows much about that crop failure in 2009, now do we?
Hey, there was a earthquake in Haiti .. we had a telethon. Oh and a tsunami and meltdown in Japan.. we had a telethon. And Sandy .. we had a telethon.
All events of true importance somehow slip away like they never even existed in the first place. We are left in the end with sports…
Those football stars of the coal region often have something in common with heroes of Friday night lights from across America: Many don’t follow their dreams and make it big. Instead, they end up at the local watering hall, sometimes wearing old sports jerseys from their heyday, but always reliving the past and wishing it was still the present.
They now have Kevin Ware’s leg to speak about for a while..
In the mean time, other events that shape our lives will occur. But we’ll turn that off. It’s too inconvenient for us..