…we’ll just be angry for a while, and then onto the next one.
If Watergate were to happen to today, it wouldn’t be remembered as the most gruelling controversy in Political History.
It’d be a Friday Night story, forgotten of by the following Monday.
That’s the attention span we’ve been conditioned into, that’s the age of media we live in now.
Things happen, we revolt — the media spins it.
Hashtags are trended, Marches are organised, and then everybody goes home and forgets about it.
Along comes the next story, the next controversy, the next piece of work — for us to get excited about.
…and yet nothing changes.
It’s not hopelessness that I write this with, it’s the sheer magnitude of the attention span in this day and age that has shocked me.
It happens, we get angry — and then it’s forgotten.
Remember Parkland, yeah me too — I’ve never been so disgusted and frustrated about an event in my entire life.
Children were hurt, afraid to go to school — it broke my heart.
I couldn’t even get out of bed, and I hadn’t even gone through it.
Those children did — and yet they stood up.
Hoping for change, demanding it.
I shouted, I wrote, I sent a few emails, I reached out to people of how I could help; yet nothing changed.
Promises were made, tears were shed, and people protested for change.
Even the politicians came together to hold a debate — to try and understand.
It was all pretend, just to keep us convinced change was coming — it never did.
A Journalist is dead, Yemen is at war — we’re angry.
I’ll admit, I’m even afraid.
It takes me back to Salman Rushdie; and how he had to hide for a novel he’d written and Ayatollah Khomeini wanted him dead for it.
Years later Salman Rushdie would write his memoir, Joseph Anton.
Purple paper back, fattest book I’d ever bought and read.
I cried and shed tears, a piece of history — a reminder of how some one could get hurt for their words.
For the first time in my life, I felt scared to be a writer.
In his final chapters he’d convince me to continue.
And so I continued on my journey.
Yet, years later — nothing has changed.
What is so devastating is to realise, no matter how much we protest — it will be forgotten.
It’s mostly a fault of our own, for holding the media up to the pinnacle of intellectual integrity that we once did.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Katharine Graham — The Washington Post.
The few that I can remember, All the President’s Men — who in fact did bring about change, reminded us of “We the people” held power.
The unforgiving spirit of their work still fuels me to this day, to keep writing, keep talking about it, except back then it actually meant something.
Now it’s some one gets killed, let’s leak a sex tape a few weeks later to distract the people.
The Euromaidan demonstration in Ukraine, 21 November 2013 — is an example of people who truly understood the meaning of “We the people”.
For it was one of those rare moments in history, that people forgot about their religious, cultural, or racial differences and banded together.
Fought, until their spirits could not be shattered.
Refusing to give up until change was to come.
A demonstration that truly did lead to change, and showed the world the power of the words “WE THE PEOPLE”, when truly acted upon.
Whilst the whole world watched, people of Ukraine fought for change.
I sat behind a television screen and just shed tears.
As Maynard James Keenan says in “Vicarious” by Tool,
For now, the only words we’ll hear are the ones we’ve heard so many times before,
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the loved ones”.
…and that’s all they are, just words — nothing more.
Nothing of substance.
Nothing of value.
Nothing but an empty promise.
Thank you for reading.