This past week I witnessed twitter become "the" go-to source for breaking news and first-hand accounts of the atrocities happening in Iran. My feed pointed to YouTube videos that provided witness to the carnage and violence in the region. There were riots, marches, stone throwing, gassing and shooting -- right there for the world to view. We saw Neda Agha Soltan shot in the heart and die on camera while her father desperately screamed "Neda, don't be afraid. Stay with me Neda." Beyond words; beyond heartbreaking.
And so all was a-twitter with the news coming out of Iran. It seemed like everyone was coloring their avatars green (in a show of solidarity). My "followers" brainstormed about how the world could help. We agonized together about our inability to come up with solutions. We fantasized about how it might end.
But today, when I logged on and found that Farrah Fawcett was the top trending topic I wasn't necessarily surprised - after all, she'd just passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was an American idol. She shared the column with #iranelection and #neda and the news from Iran continued.
But sometime after 1pm tweets started coming in about the (alleged) death of Michael Jackson. The rumors flew: he was dead, he was in a coma, he committed suicide... finally confirmation of death and then the tribute blips started, video tributes, fascination with death coming in threes (Ed McMahon, Farrah and MJ). It didn't stop. And then it rolled into ridiculousness as tweets popped up about Jeff Goldblum's apparent "plunge to death" while filming in New Zealand. Kevin Spacey finally put an end to that one ... but everyone was so busy with celebrities dying that trending topics swallowed up and digested any news about Iran.
I pleaded in my tweets:
two icons. one day. 7/25/09. Now lets get back to figuring out how to help Iran. Please. #iranelection
Iran has completely fallen off the trending topics list. In the coming year what will touch ur life more: MJ or Iran. Come on folks. Please.
RT: @p_sullyRT RT @kensands: Most significant death of the week? U decide: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Neda Agha Soltan.
Thankfully, I was retweeted, and my feed started bringing thoughts on Iran back. Slowly, tentatively, #iranelection has snuck up to the bottom of Trending Topics. There it sits... like an afterthought.
I remain disillusioned and bitter. How could the world - at least my twitter world - be so incredibly shallow? Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett are dead. It's really sad. My heart goes out to their friends and family. But honestly, their deaths do not make much of a difference in my life or the lives of my children. The revolution happening in Iran, however, could change not just Iran, but also the world ... it may very well continue to be meaningful and relevant to our lives for years.
I leave you with this haunting video by Arian Saleh. Please show your support for his amazing talent by subscribing to his YouTube channel HERE (Warning: graphic images)