Last Sunday evening as I watched the Super Bowl, early in the 3rd quarter I had no idea why the game had stopped, why the announcers had quit talking and why the lighting in the Superdome appeared different. As I continued to watch, it became clear as to what was going on. The lights came back on, the game resumed and America was once again the land of hope and promise.
This evening at 6:00PM, I turned to CNN to see if there was any more news about Ethan in Alabama. Instead, the second story of the hour was about how the lights went out at the Superdome and the pending investigation as to why. The delay in the investigation is partially attributed to the fact that Beyonce's people are not offering any input at this point.
I don't care. I really don't. The lights went out. They came back on. The game resumed. No one was hurt.
But there is suffering and gnashing of teeth over the power outage. In spite of that, I still don't care.
Watching the halftime spectacle, I thought to myself, "So we saw the Sandy Hook kids paraded out in a feel good moment, and then Jennifer Hudson took over. Right now, who is saying to themselves, the Sandy Hook kids part of all this was the most amazing thing of the day?"
During the last few years, I have caught myself getting choked up over things that emotionally affect me. I must confess that the appearance of the Sandy Hook kids didn't choke me up. It didn't because I felt they were being used. However, if during halftime, there would have not been a glitzy show but rather a statement made that instead of promoting someone who was doing just fine financially, the millions of dollars that would have been spent on the show would be directed to helping those who were outside the stadium wondering how they were going to keep the lights on at their house next month, feed their children, or pay their medical bills so they can continue to be treated, I would still be choked up as a result.
When I think of how other societies look at our society and feel rage towards us, I wonder if one reason is because of the lip service, but lack of action we pay to tragedy.
"I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 'All right, then, I'll GO to hell.' "
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
* From the musical, "Big River." Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller