Personally, I sat this one out. That's not to say I've paid no attention to any of this. I certainly have. I just moved on before the rest of you. I'm not judging. In 1994, I was glued to the television for days in the aftermath of Kurt Cobain's suicide. Michael Jackson was bigger but Kurt was more important to me. Everybody's got their something.
The science, if we can call it that, of what we care about is a fascinating one, though. Why did you care about this and why did you care about it so much? Was this media manipulation? We've seen media-created circuses before, but if CNN and Twitter had their way we'd have overthrown Iran last week. It turns out middle America was too busy taking the kids to softball games and amusement parks to start a revolution. We cared about Michael Jackson, less about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Sarah Palin came within 10,000,000 popular and 192 electoral votes—which sounds like a lot until you consider it was probably 1/10 of the overall TV audience—of the vice presidency and had a nutty over the 4th of July weekend. We don't care about that, either. Can we afford to provide health care for everyone living in the United States, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, financial background, or immigration status? Can we afford not to? Should it be a matter of affordability in the first place? Is the world about to explode because of global warming? Do enough of us believe that strongly enough that we want to never be able to sell our house without shrinkwrapping it in recycled cellophane as mandated in H.R. 620?
If it sounds like I'm making a judgment about which one of these stories was more deserving of your attention, I'm actually not. Like I said, I don't mind if you don't mind. That's what separates me from a certain wretched Nickelback video. I'm not looking down on you with my moral superiority or my new found social consciousness. I'm encouraged by what I saw. America proved it has an attention span of at least a week. Look at the bright side! Thousands of Americans demonstrated a willingness to get off their asses to be a part of something. We can still be galvanized. We can still be impacted. We can still coalesce around something and there is power in that. Don't believe me? Think about this.