Thursday, December 27, 2007

With All Due Respect

Because I'm on vacation and not sitting at my computer for nine hours straight, I didn't hear about the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto the instant it came across the wires. However, this afternoon we finally had an opportunity to watch the news and get a few more details on this tragic event.

Tonight I was trolling the blogs and catching up on important things (comics) and less important things (everything else). While I was reading guilty-pleasure blogs (OK, who am I kidding? They're all guilty pleasure blogs) I thought I should jump over to my collection of political blogs to see what they had to say about the current international situation.

I guess I must be a bit naive, because it really surprised me to read the analysis. What surprised me wasn't the analysis of the reaction of the Pakistani people or Pakistani government or the Muslim community or women all over the world. What surprised me was to read the analysis and grading of the sound bites offered up by our current slate of 2008 Presidential hopefuls.

Because you know, it's all about us.

And it wasn't just the bloggers who offered up their opinions. The Washington Post stampeded online with its own take on how the news was going to affect the primaries and how the various candidates were positioning themselves based on this tragedy. To their credit, The WaPo reminded its readers that this article was posted on their political blog, and tragedy or not, their focus is politics. The WaPo continued, saying this event would certainly have repercussions in the US political arena, so dammit they were going to talk about it whether anybody liked it or not.

Still, I have to wonder if it would have been that much of an imposition to wait oh, say, even a scant twenty-four hours before attempting to connect dots that are over 7000 miles apart. The waters of analysis are murky enough as it is without attempting an instantaneous political GPS recalculating procedure of both major US political parties and their presidential candidates based on two sentences.

In this age of instant gratification and 24-hour news cycles that frankly, run out of things to say after 45 minutes, it's difficult not to overdo the incessant analysis of everything and everybody everywhere all the time. But just once I'd like to see us (as a people us and as a country US) hold off on the temptation to pick apart and over-analyze every tragedy the instant it occurs. Will it have ramifications? Of course it will. But there will be more appropriate times and places to crank up the rhetoric for the nightly news cycle.

Today it should be enough to say first and foremost, she was a human being. Today it should be enough to say another light in this world was extinguished far too soon. That and that alone should give us more than enough fodder to stop and quietly reflect on the loss we all have suffered.

With all due respect, today, all due respect should be enough.


Anonymous said...

Wish you'd send this post to the NYTimes, WaPo, or some other national publication. It is EXCELLENT!!

Peace Tuna

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that the only way a national or international event won't get picked apart is if several of them happen at once. sigh.
the boy