Keeping Things in Perspective

On October 4, 2011 Erin Burnett gave a CNN report on the OCCUPY Movement.  The report purposely portrayed the OCCUPY Movement in a negative light. It was titled “Seriously”.

Last night, Burnett’s value system and world view surfaced again. She gave a report that seemed endless.  Could this be the final Apocalypse – the end of times.  The  CNN report titled, “Hell on the High Seas”, went on and on and on for hours.  Amazing, could it be another Tsunami?  Comets, asteroids, and now hell on the high seas. Would we be back to the stone age – the end of humanity.  Would thousands be killed?

No, it was just a cruise ship having electrical problems. There were not enough generators.  The air conditioning went out. The lighting system did not work. Gourmet meals could not be prepared. And most traumatic of all, some of the passengers were instructed to pee in the shower.  Think of the emotional impact.  No doubt, some of the vacationers will need psychiatric help after such an insult to human sensibilities.

During the night-long news reports – no matter how hard one tried, it was difficult to feel a lot of sympathy.  Life’s hardships, which everyone experiences, are a matter of degree.  Some people have vacations that are disappointing.  Some people have never had a vacation. That’s just life for many of the struggling class in the USA and around the world.

Who really needs a vacation? Maybe the families in Gaza who have been bombarded with bombs for longer than most can remember. Maybe all those living in Occupied Territories need a vacation. Maybe the families of the kids we kill with Drones need a vacation from the aggressive foreign policy of the US.

How about a vacation for the Chagossians. All they want is to go home. The government of the USA/UK sent them into exile how many years ago?  Was that 40 years ago – or 50 years ago.   Compare 50 years in exile to five days of discomfort on a luxury liner.

Maybe all political prisoners need a vacation. How about a day at the beach for Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.

All who have been falsely convicted need a vacation. Think of Lynne Stewart, Mumia Abu Jamal, and the thousands of others in US prisons.  No need to give all prisoners a vacation, just those who were falsely convicted. There are thousands.

Those who still have no permanent housing after Superstorm Sandy need a vacation. A few weeks in a warm climate would help the displaced families.

All who are living with inadequate heat in cold houses need a vacation.

Back to the cruise ship passengers – will Hallmark set a special printing for the ‘victims’?  They might need sympathy cards.

The inside verse could go something like this.

Sorry that your vacation was ruined
You now have PTSD
Next year’s cruise will be a whole lot better
You won’t have to go to the shower to pee

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.