Satiated with Cecil

2015-08-10 10:53

Seriously, we need to get a grip. Because whereas I am no supporter of those who run around armed with crossbows and a maniacal glint their eye and whose primary drive is the mounting of some feline on their wall, the fact that Cecil (of Blessed memory) the Lion managed to dominate 34% of international media in the last week, is cause for concern. Major concern. Sit up straight and take note concern.

And before anyone is too unnerved by the fact that the South African press failed more miserably than its international counterparts and managed to devote a whopping 65% of its weekly coverage to this subject, one might want to check which story came in second internationally. Because indeed, nipping at the paws of this horror, is that other would-be king of the jungle – Donald Trump. And if that doesn’t make us wonder if  we are slightly off kilter, then nothing will.

Cecil (of Blessed memory) is a sad story. I get that. Really sad. And ugly. And is one that (in my view) is an unimpressive reflection of our drive to dominate and to acquire. And to show off. But I am certain, absolutely clear, convinced and confident that it does not hold a candle to the multiple examples that we can draw from day after day after day.

I can imagine the frustration at Isis Headquarters in Evil-land this week. They have drowned virgins; they have beheaded Christians, posted social media threats about decapitations of innocent Europeans and have continued their daily activities of blaming God for their poor behaviour. And with all that, they have managed to rack up a miserable 10% of global media coverage. Beaten by an American infidel Dentist, for God’s Sake (or not) and a non Halal beast. It surely doesn’t get worse than that. Heads must have rolled. No doubt it’s back to the drawing board for them, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if their next social media campaign involves a chiropractor and the Pretoria zoo.

And then there is Iran. Hoarse from screaming “Death to America” and to Israel, publishing theories about the destruction of their (still) mortal enemies, they have to be wondering what they have to do to get any attention around here. No one it seems (certainly not Obama and his merry band) seems to take them seriously. They can’t have - given all the concessions awarded to them, like allowing them to acquire conventional weapons, allowing hundreds of millions of dollars to flow into their kitties (not to be confused with the feline kind) and like not demanding they release American hostages. The result is that of a spoilt child who receives unlimited money but gets no positive attention from their parent. Or from anyone for that matter.

And this is not to mention the fact that during very same week a boat capsized in the Mediterranean with 600 desperate refugees on board, drowning hundreds. Of people. Desperate, frightened, traumatised, people. People with dreams of a better life for themselves and for their children who no doubt clung to them as they fled a worn torn continent on a rickety boat that they knew could end as it did, beneath the sea. And whereas we might have read this story, we might even have spared a thought, it was on Cecil (of Blessed memory) that we focused.

To some extent, Cecil is a vacation. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s holiday season, and like novels that are best read on the beach, perhaps Cecil represents a news story that is a respite from the other horrors in the world (and I am not referring only to Eskom). We are told that a change is as good as a holiday and one has to wonder if the fact that (according to research conducted by ROI Africa), the world is so obsessed with Cecil says more about needing a brief respite from what had sadly become “Normal” than it does about the Zimbabwean lion.

But like all good holidays, at some point they do need to end and we need to go back to the lives that we vacation from. We will always have their memory but it is seriously time to get a grip.

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