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 some feline on their wall, the fact that Cecil (z”l) 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 takes comfort from the fact that the South African press failed more miserably 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 (z”l) 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 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 behavior. 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 for them. 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 a 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 no Obama and his delusional merry band) seems to take them seriously. They can’t, given their gift of handing them conventional weapons (in case they need it), allowing hundreds of millions of dollars to flow into their kitties (not to be confused with the feline kind) so that, like a spoilt child who receives unlimited money, but no positive attention from their parent. And then we get upset when they use for the wrong stuff.
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. And whereas we might have read this story, we might even have spared a thought, it was on Cecil (z”l) 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 Obama). 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.