Fleeting: our Societal Anger; our National Substance


This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Fleeting“. I’ll be posting a more meaningful “photo sermon” based on this theme later in the week, but I saw something last night I wanted to share.

This blog has not shied away from its concern over the civil liberties and privacy issues that have been exposed this week. I hope to post some more in-depth thoughts on these specific revelations later today or tomorrow. For this photo post, though, I ran across a couple of images that show just how fleeting any American societal anger, attention, or protest really is.

Last night, before going to bed, I turned to the New York Times homepage to see if anything new had happened. On the right side of the page I saw this list of articles:

nytimes-nsa-list-1

At first glance, I thought these were the most E-mailed articles of the day. I turned to my friend and started praising America and the media for finally devoting the proper attention to these matters it had ignored for so long. The fact that the entire list was saturated with stories about these issues was such an encouragement to me.

Then I saw the top of the tab: Recommended for you.

Crap, I thought, and then tremblingly clicked to the actual list of most E-mailed articles of the day, and this is what I saw:

nytimes-nsa-list-2

Really, America? 

Even if you disagree with the leak, or don’t think the government is out of bounds, please stay engaged to (what any other generation before us would have called) one of the biggest stories in our national history, and one of our most defining moments.

Charlie Pierce appears to have been right in his cynicism. If this really is representative (and it very well may not), then we are a fickle people. We are a short-sighted people. We are a people that will justify and numb ourselves to things that a generation and a half ago would make Presidents resign, administration officials go to jail, and an entire nation take stock.

If this is true, then I fear that the substance, mind, and attention of America is utterly fleeting.

Like I said, I’ll be writing more later with what I hope are some helpful and (surprisingly) nuanced thoughts on these things (hopefully). But for now, I just wanted to vent. And lament a little.

See my past Weekly Photo Challenges here.

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This is WordPress’ little plug for the Weekly Photo Challenges:

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in our Weekly Photo Challenge to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in Post a Day / Post a Week. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Subscribe to The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

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6 thoughts on “Fleeting: our Societal Anger; our National Substance

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Fleeting / Mont Beuvray View | What's (in) the picture?

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Fleeting / Mont Beuvray View | What's (in) the picture?

  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Fleeting / Dead Tree | What's (in) the picture?

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Fleeting / Dead Tree 2 | What's (in) the picture?

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Fleeting / Mont Beuvray View 2 | What's (in) the picture?

  6. Pingback: POLL: What do YOU think about the NSA Surveillance stuff? | the long way home | Prodigal Paul

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