Loose words, loose thoughts: education, riots, morality, money (pt 1)

A father giving CPR to his own son who has been run down by a complete stranger. Blood of his own on his hands, his face, on his lips.

I don’t cry that much, but when I listened to the words of the father of the young man killed during the London Riots, I nearly lost myself.

I don’t watch television very much if at all. I don’t read the newspaper. I occasionally am pulled into the heartache and joy of Al Jazeera English online as it is my homepage. I do listen to the radio – ABC Radio National – when my head is not fuzzy with ideas and things to do, when there is a lull in the boisterous play of my boys in the back seat.

If I consumed more news media I feel like I would be a better person, more knowledgeable, more aware. Heck, I could contribute to adult conversations more competently. But as my ten year old son said, ‘The news makes people sad. It’s all bad news.’ So maybe I like living in my bubble of ignorance.

Images and words about the London Riots have abounded on social media – something I do indulge in far too much. The horror and terror of what has been happening in Africa in the last 8 or 9 months has spilled into the ‘known world’. Somehow, in a white semi-middle class way, that has made the reality of our shifting, destabilised world all the more clear. People are posting videos, articles, images, heart felt pleas … but it wasn’t until I heard the 7am news on ABC Radio National that I got fired up.

Why? Because it hit close to home in a few ways. And although there are so many well-considered, evidence-driven, experienced reports out there about what’s happening in London (and to a larger extent I believe all over the Western world) I feel the need to write down my thoughts. My frustration. I’m probably wrong but as we know, that doesn’t stop most people from speaking anyway.

The news report went something like this: Heart-breaking story about father trying and failing to revive his son – sound bite from father. Stern words from politician about state of London regarding the riots and the failure of parents and schools in disciplining young people – sound bite from politician. News Limited have posted an increase in profits since the last financial (year/quarter) – sound bite from Rupert Murdoch.

This is how I heard the news: The world is fucked. People are killing people with no motive. Mindless violence. Parents and teachers are to blame. Rich man gets richer despite running a company that is soulless, morally corrupt, a feeder of mindless rubbish to millions and the dealer of competition-driven ideologies.

Needless to say, yesterday morning I was in a bad, bad mood.

To be continued …

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