Multitask Your Attention Span

I'm ready for this week to be over. My brain and heart both feel a bit numb from, among other things:
1) viewing footage and images of what's going on in Iran,
2) hearing trifling politicians compare trips to Argentina to get their groove on with the actions of Biblical figures, and,
3) experiencing the deaths of so many great people.

It's a lot for one week, isn't it?

There have been those who have said they don't care about some "celebrity" because lots of people are gonna die or be homeless and they never get any press at all. The basic premise is, world hunger still exists so why should we care about Michael Jackson? Indeed, this story talks about how all the focus on Michael Jackson could hurt the efforts to bring attention to what's going on in Iran.

Do we really have such a short attention span that we can't show our support for the people of Iran and think about serious issues, while also remembering Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett or Michael Jackson?

I hope not. But just in case, let me show you how to multitask: I'll share a celebrity memory and then I'll share something "real" and serious.

Memory: In middle school I spent many years believing that Ed McMahon was going to show up at my parents house with a Publisher's Clearing House check. That led to fantasies of me going to boarding school in Switzerland. Once there, I was going to learn to ski, my French would become flawless and then on holiday in Villefranche-sur-Mer, I'd meet some nice guy with a chateau and a maid. He'd marry me... and, thanks to the maid, I'd never have to wash dishes again.

Sigh, now it'll never come true. It's a pity because I still don't like washing dishes and I'd happily hand the task off to someone else.

Now, on to the serious: CNN is reporting that seven unjustly persecuted Baha'is in Iran finally have a trial date. Do I feel lots of confidence that they'll get a fair trial in a country where Baha'is are accused of being minions of the BBC and they haven't gotten to see their attorney in a year? Uh, that would be a no. But who knows, maybe a miracle will happen.

See, that wasn't hard, was it? I was your guinea pig and I proved our brains can think about a lot of things all at once.

I just wish more of the things to multitask/think about were good news.

Comments

nick said…
There's a lot of dispiriting news around at the moment, but at the same time there're still plenty of people out there producing great music, great art, great literature, great films and just being warm, friendly, life-enhancing people. But they don't make the headlines because they're not doing anything controversial or shocking, they're just being themselves.
Jen said…
I had a bout of my fibromyalgia symptoms yesterday, and after many years of dealing with this poison that enters my body, I've learned that I'm most likely to experience this when I'm just. plain. overwhelmed. This week sure did that. Not only the public figures, but the best friend of a good friend lost his fight with cancer and another dear friend's husband seems to be entering his final slide.

Yes, there are many wonderful things to focus on, too, but sometimes you just have to let the sadness in. It's been a sad week.
I had similar fantasies when I went off to boarding schol in Switzerland. What actually happened is that I learned some basic French (enough to order beer and chocolate, which is worth something) and I learned to ski. But then I came home and lived a pretty standard life, metting the usual people. Oh, well
Unknown said…
Multi-tasking is good! (Shameless promotion alert;stop reading if you are offended by cheesy plugs) Question: What does Michael Jackson and his brothers have to do with the Baha'i Faith, addiction, my family and Seattle/Tacoma, Washington?

A lot. But you have to read my blog to figure the connections.

See. Multi-tasking is easy! ;-)

In the flurry of about news of Iran, Michael, Farrah and that old dirty dog cheatin' governor (that's what my mother would call him if she were still alive), I missed the story about Ed McMahon. RIP, Ed.
heidi said…
Angela, how do I link to your blog?

About the blog post, yesterday my mom was irritated that Farrah Faucet's death was not news so fast after she had worked hard to be of service to her fellow humans by being open about her struggles and process of dying.

I like your tutorial.
I can't say I laid out cookies and milk by the fireplace for Ed McMahon, but I was sure he'd come to my door sooner or later. Guess it will be much later. And this has never prevented me from worrying and grieving about notable deaths and the state of the world in general.
Liz Dwyer said…
Nick
Very true. Our media has such an emphasis on the negative. But there is some serious drama going on in the world now.

Jen,
Oh I'm so sorry to hear about the losses in your personal circle. I've been so stressed out I have zits like I'm a high schooler. Ugh. Hope you feel better soon.

Secret Agent Woman,
Ooh, love that blog handle!

So boarding school didn't end with the hot chateau owning dude? Oh well, but at least you got to experience that! Sounds so cool.

Angela,
LOL, love your shameless promotion. I'll come read to find out! And yes, Ed McMahon. So sad. :(

Heidi,
Farrah does have an incredibly interesting life story. I know so many saw her as just a blond bimbo, but she really was so much more.

Heart,
Yes, Ed McMahon can come to your door in the next world. I like that idea.
Unknown said…
So glad you asked, Heidi! :-D It's at:
http://noberthabutt.blogspot.com/

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