Sunday, 10 August 2014

Never Mind the Neighbours

Warning: This post contains strong language.

I am only going to say this once: Shut the fuck up about Israel and Palestine.

Every day we are bombarded with "news" about the latest conflict in the Middle East. Israel did this. Palestine did that. "Mom! Joey's looking at me funny again." It's a long-standing family squabble. It's a domestic dispute and we, who do not live there, should mind our own business.

Now, I am not saying there aren't tragedies happening or that we as the human race shouldn't be concerned about the plight of our fellow beings. But enough opinion, rhetoric, and skewed news already. Yes, the news is skewed; either for Palestine or for Israel. It depends where the news is coming from. Of course the Israelis will tout low casualty figures. They want to show their military might. Naturally the Palestinians will quote exorbitantly high casualty figures because they want to be seen as the underdogs to play on world sympathy. ("Kharqa, you claimed your husband was injured? I thought only your goat got shot." "He was the best lover I ever had." Billy goat is not my lover... That kid is not my son.)

It's a power play for your emotions. Don't buy into it. The only ones who win are the news media who are feeding off the carnage.

Go watch a cat video on YouTube instead.

Don't necessarily stop reading or watching the news, just stop believing what you're being fed and don't buy into the emotion-manipulating. Did you know that the news is bought and sold? It is. A great deal of the news items are fed to places like Reuters or BBC News via wire services that news sources have to pay. That's right. To get a news story out via 'the big guys' like Reuters, it has to be submitted through places like MarketWire. If you've got the money, you're in the news. Unless you have your own team of reporters, on the ground and sending stories to your media outlet, you can't get your story out without going through one of these services.

Taking sides in the never-ending Middle East conflicts only serves to divide friends and family who do not live there and honestly do not have a vested interest. Your opinions about who is right and who is wrong are not helping anyone. They are, as my dear old pappy used to say to me, useless useless. He'd say, "You are more useless than a pile of dung. At least a pile of dung can be used as fertilizer." So stop fertilizing the internet with your thoughts on the current problems in the Middle East. You're just spreading e coli.

It is better to find common ground with those around us and help the ones closest to home.

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