As we watch the tributes to Walter Cronkite, I can’t help wondering what he’d have made of all the hoopla over the death of Michael Jackson.
Don’t misunderstand me here. I believe that the life and death of anyone is important in the universe. It’s just that I think perhaps our most trusted anchor would have put a little more perspective into the egregious news coverage, wild speculations, and out of control adulation of someone whose contribution to society was exclusively in the area of entertainment.
Just when did we get to be such an entertainment culture? Why is it that we are bored with the every day accomplishments that make life more than an exercise in futility?
We seem to have become an entitlement society, feeling that we are entitled to life, livelihood, necessities, luxuries and entertainment — all without our having to be responsible for creating any of it.
Way back when, in the olden days, we were an opportunity society – not opportunistic– but cognizant of the fact that anything we wanted to accomplish was possible, if we had the grit and determination to work hard enough to make it happen.
Hard work seems to be a four-letter word these days. It is, in fact, two four letter words, like love and life and time and earn. These are words we need to put back into our jaded vocabulary. And we need to eliminate some others, like scoop, gossip, celebrity, and a whole host of others that encourage frivolity and criticism rather than industry and accomplishment.
I’m sure there would have been a small tear in Mr. Cronkite’s eye if he had been required to say “and that’s the way it is” to some of the reportage that has been going on these last few weeks.