Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh, The Humanity!

Herb Morrison spoke these words over WLS radio in Chicago on May 6, 1937, as he watched the German airship Hindenburg burst into flames over Lakehurst Naval Air Staion in New Jersey. 95 people were on board the rigid airship, 37 of them died in the disaster. We borrow the broadcaster's heartbreaking words these days, usually to mock what's been presented to us as serious news.
The phrase crossed my mind when I opened my newspaper this morning:

That's the front page...with 30 column inches of sports disaster spreading above and below the fold. It seems, my world-minded friends, the University of Texas football team was edged out of the Big 12 Championship game, to be played next weekend, by a computer calculation that gave the University of Oklahoma a .013 point edge over the beloved Longhorns.

In fairness, I do live in Austin where people bleed burnt orange and teach their babies to "get your horns up" before teaching them to walk or talk. So, the news is big here...and bad. Consequently, it sprawls across my daily like an earthquake, a plane crash, or a declaration of war (watch your backs, BCS officials).

What luxury to think on these things before all else...

Before the latest from Mumbai. Before news of 32 killed yesterday in Iraq. Before word of today's military and financial rampage in Zimbabwe. Before the worst flood in Venice in 20 years or the worst economic downturn in 30 years or even the news that those antioxidants we've all been consuming won't actually keep us from aging.

How lucky we are to be able to turn our full, front page attention to disappointments over the end of a football season.

I do not begrudge anyone a day or two of football angst. I ask only that we stay in balance with issues that need our intelligent attention. We cannot "be the change" unless we know the news. I worry about being lulled into a kind of drowziness that could allow us to believe we are untouched by anything more disruptive than who will play in the Big 12 Championship game. When we fall into that dream, we become the self-centered Americans the world has come to expect to show up on the Big Stage of global awareness.

Stay on top of the world. Oh, our humanity - depends on it.



dhello said...

Thanks for your reminders to keep us grounded in what's important. How easy it becomes to take all the world's ills for granted because we can't change them today. They were with us yesterday, and they'll be with us tomorrow - like the poor Jesus talked about. But, I think that was his point. What are YOU and I going to do about it?

Ashton said...

Hi, I love the ending! Peace 2 you too! -Woooooooh!