I just had the most disturbing conversation with a friend this weekend. I was telling my friend about a political writer who had just written an excellent article on female genital mutilation and my friend interupted me to ask what that was.

Whha, wha, wha, what?

This is a college educated woman with a post graduate degree and no freakin’ clue that 100 to 140 million women have had their business destroyed by this barbaric practice, that young girls are constantly dying from it, and that another 2 million young girls under the age of 12 are at risk for it as well. How the hell can she not know this stuff?

Simple. She doesn’t listen to the news anymore. Too depressing.

Apparently this came about 5 years ago. She found the world news was really stressing her out. So…she turned it off. No radio, tv, internet, or newspapers. She’s done. And she honestly believes she’s happier for it. She recommends it to her friends.

I mean, really, people, WTF??

Sure, I turn off the news every once in a while, like when I’m on vacation, but to turn it off entirely? There’s elections coming up, how do you make an informed decision? And just because the problems of the world freak you out, ignoring them doesn’t make it all go away either. How do you turn it all off and remain a citizen of the world?

Her answer: She’s not trying to live in the world, just live in her own.

I refuse to accept this as an acceptable way of life. This is a woman who just returned a large number of her children’s toys made in China because they are tainted with lead. Her husband was laid off for six months because his accounting job was sent to India. Further, she’s Jewish with a sister living in Israel. You can’t ignore the rest of the world, it’s pretty much in your freakin’ face 24/7. I get freaked out and pissed off about world events on pretty much a daily basis, but at least I try to channel that rage by living a certain way, voting a certain way, and using my consumer dollars a certain way.

Whether you or I like it or not, we are living in the Global Village. And as such, acting like the creepy weird guy in the house on the corner, who never comes out, who doesn’t mow his lawn, collect his mail, has a million cats running all over the place, and who calls the cops anytime someone stands out front commenting on what an ugly house that is, doesn’t make for a good neighbor.

It makes you a creepy, weird guy living in a scary, crappy house.

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