by Jaqueline McLeod and Fiona Joy Green
We recently witnessed, full on, in media reports the wonder and the horror of shrinking space and time. In Canada all September long weekend, the media was saturated with stories of the mass murder tragedy in rural Saskatchewan. First we heard about the multiple victims and then about the two brothers identified as perpertrators who were on the run. As the manhunt ended, journalists continued to follow the story and attempt to talk about motives, pain, and healing. This is a difficult and complex story, especially when read as it must be through the lens of reconciliation.
Then presto: the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, died on September 8, 2022. And within seconds, it became world wide news. In Canada, it took over as the lead story. The Saskatchewan tragedy moved to the back pages.
The speed with which we change the focus of attention is truly amazing. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has observed, with dismay, similar trends as he has pleaded in nightly updates for the world to watch and witness the war in Ukraine. We do pay attention, unless there is price hike at the gas pumps or, admittedly worse, wild fires or rains destroying our homes.
It’s hard to imagine we can solve planetary challenges since we are so easily manipulated by distractions. It also seems that the issues and positions attracting dedicating attention are those that are simple and solvable. Ban a book, reimpose anti-abortion laws, make masks mandatory. Polemics and small stuff, when what we need is a common front and planetary action.
Do you think there is still time for this to happen?
We need to hope.
As bell hooks has so wisely said: “Hope is essential to any political struggle for radical change when the overall social climate promotes disillusionment and despair.”