Thursday, February 3, 2011

Commentariat overreach

Peter Daou, a former aide to Hillary, questioned whether some in the White House are sufficiently “sensitive” to the events unfolding in Egypt. He took pious umbrage at a handful of innocuous tweets by staffers while Cairo burned. One exchange – about college basketball – occurred on Jan. 29 when, Daou says, “the entire world was watching the historic events in Egypt.” He dinged Robert Gibbs for a tweet (interspersed between serious ones) about a photo contest involving cabinet members. Daou wondered: How could he post such trivia on the day “Egypt exploded?” Gee, I dunno. Aren’t we overreacting just a tad here? Yes, the protests are riveting. But not every TV on Earth is tuned to CNN. Face it: More Americans are riveted to March Madness or the latest Charlie Sheen idiocy than Tahrir Square. Sad, perhaps, but true. Daou wrote, “We should appreciate the pain that’s all around us. Even if we don’t devote every waking moment to alleviating it, let’s not exacerbate it by turning a blind eye to it.” Agreed. But let’s not pretend that the insular pieties of the commentariat are the same for those who live outside its bubble. They aren’t, and never the twain shall meet. And let’s not be so quick to condemn levity in a world where suffering has always been the norm (sadly). Humor, after all, is our last defense against complete insanity in a world gone mad.

No comments:

Post a Comment