Through the course of my day job, I work with journalists and have been trained to be super-duper careful on what you tell them, b/c if they write with an agenda, you get quoted out of context, you might get pitted against someone you’d prefer to have as an ally–or they just distort it b/c they’re not an expert on your field. (The Times reporters who cover our beat, bounce between completely unrelated fields, so often have to grasp sophisticated, ornery topics without any kind of background and then are required to come off as experts.) And in my day job industry in particular, a negative story, while not entirely accurate, seems to sell/attract more attention than a truthful one, and that burns me.
But the flip side of a journalist’s impact (aside from writing incredibly entertaining movie reviews–but then are those people journalists really or movie reviewers?) is to bring attention to a problem that you have no idea what’s going on. Some of the stories are paralyzingly depressing, as my friend Jen observes, but others, like the attached link motivate me to try to do something. Anyway, this story below is about how middle-class Iraqi families flee Baghdad to Jordan due to life threats, kidnappings, the loss of their kids, but then face having no means to make it in this new country. It’s awful, but the piece mentions two charities — Caritas and the Children’s Aids Foundation — if you feel like donating or volunteering there.
And if not, that’s cool. It’s just a reminder to me, no matter how much fleeting misery I may experience, we still have it good here. I’m not dodging bullets and bombs; I have running water and go out for a cocktail; I can see my family and my friends, b/c they have not been kidnapped, etc. etc. etc
And if you read the Rush Hour 3 review, the writer says it’d be nice if Jackie Chan didn’t have to play a sexual neuter and Christ Tucker didn’t have to bulge his eyes out just to work in the movies. Snicker, snicker.