Anyone who follows the news in even the most cursory manners knows that Israel/Palestine has erupted again (please pray). But what's new? Does anyone pay attention anymore? And if you do - congratulations, and thank you - does your knowledge of what's going on in the world start and stop with the headlines and sound bites at CNN or Fox?
If so, you're not alone. According to my own anecdotal polls, it's rare that Americans know much about the world beyond our borders. Sure, if it's on the Today Show, or Oprah - and especially the Daily Show - then most people can discuss it somewhat intelligently. But our entertainment-based consumption of world news is a far cry from the kind of information that much of the world knows about us. And why is this, pray tell? Well, obviously we're the world's superpower, so people follow what we're up to. But why the one-way street? Probably for the same reason.
Well, I believe it's time to change that. I believe that a country that doesn't know much about what goes on in the rest of the world - whether it's because we're the biggest and strongest, or because it's just "too hard" to find or too "time consuming" - is bound to suffer in many more ways than being kicked from that much lauded number one spot.
If you don't already do so (I pray that I am wrong about the Burnside readership! But I think I know better...I am one and I need reminding,too.) please consider broadening the range of news that you consume and sources that you peruse. On the Social Justice page over at Burnside proper you'll find a list of global news sources that are a good place to start. If it seems overwhelming, BBC World News is also a good aggregator or world news stories of note.
A few final thoughts:
1) Try to read at least one story per month about Africa that is good news.
2) If you don't know where the country is that they're talking about, look it up. In fact, memorize it!
3) Sports news only counts half as much as regular news.
4) Celebrity news doesn't count at all.
(And I already anticipate the sports news comments, people. Hey, I get it - at least you're reading!)
(And thanks - to all of you - for being good sports and listening to me on my soapbox.)