Over the weekend, the finance ministers of the Group of 8 leading industrial nations in the world reached a groundbreaking decision that will change the course of history and give millions of people a fighting chance to climb out of the clutches of poverty. Yes, the exact thing that Bono has been fighting for for years (well, one of the things), is finally on its way to becoming a reality. Under the terms of the agreement, the G8 will immediately wipe clean up to $55 billion (BILLION!) in debt owed by 18 of the world's poorest nations. These nations will now be able to redirect the 1 to 2 billion dollars a year they were spending in interest payments and put it towards development projects for their embattled, poverty-stricken countries. Though much more needs to be done in the region, as up to 62 countries are heavily indebted according to South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, he and other leaders called the recent agreement "a splendid start". Last Saturday's debt relief package will now need to be endorsed by the G8 member countries (US, Britain, Japan, Canada, Russia, Germany, Italy and France).
The magnitude of this agreement is immense. It can literally change the lives of millions of people and make the world a better place. It's a stepping stone towards giving ALL heavily indebted nations of the world a fighting chance for not only survival, but economic independence. And guess what? We don't have to shoot anyone or send over thousands of troops or launch any missiles to help THESE people.
So... the big question in my mind is, "Why is this not front page news?" And as the Tripwire's Chip Adams pointed out to me earlier today. The answer to that question is the same as, "Why did Ashley Simpson's album go double platinum instead of Stars' or the Arcade Fire's?" Because the majority of the American public is too caught up in Brad & Jen, Tom & Katie, and... worst of all, Michael Jackson and the kid he scarred for life. Humanitarianism, artistic integrity, education, tolerance and literacy are no longer issues that matter. And what's worse? The media - especially the cable news networks. Rather than championing the ideals of truth, freedom of expression, art, and, most importantly, actual news, these networks, which are all owned by media conglomerates, have caved in to the pressure of the all-too-important ratings. And the recent debt relief agreement by the G8 is the perfect example. It took me 15 minutes of searching on CNN's website to find their coverage of the G8 relief package, though if I wanted to watch Michael Jackson walk out of the courtroom yesterday from 27 different angles, it was only a click away. What's worse than that? I turned on MSNBC last night to find a stick puppet re-enactment of the final moments of the Michael Jackson trial... on a NEWS channel. Seriously... popsicle sticks with pictures of the judge, Michael and the jury and really bad "comedic" dialog between them. It was supposed to be funny.
Can anything be done to make our country right again? Is the Daily Show going to remain the best place for balanced news reporting? Does anyone even care about the fact that the world's most powerful nations are actually proposing to do something to benefit society rather than just blow things up and take advantage of under-developed nations? Well... you f-ing should.