As of today, when estimates of civilian and military casualties are combined, around 22,000 people have died in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But today’s trending topics stray away from the urgency of issues surrounding Russia and Ukraine. As a society, we care more about culture than the tragedy of war.
The shiny exterior of pop culture has entranced the world and blocked out politics and hard news. Brittany Spears having a baby, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson eating dinner have become hot topics across the internet over the past few days, as news of Ukraine has slipped out of our minds.
On Friday a rocket killed 50 people in Ukraine. The message “for our children” was written in Russian on its side. Today President Zelensky of Ukraine announced that the secret service has captured Viktor Medvedchuk, Putin’s best friend, who was on the run. Yet “Ukraine” is not trending as a topic of interest.
The problem is people are tired of hearing about death and violence, and would rather hear about gossip and entertainment. Reading stories about celebrity marriage, divorce and everything in between is far more exciting than reading about bombings and shootings. Stories such as these are depressing, yet maybe that is what we need.
Just like those ASPCA commercials with “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan playing in the background, sad animals with sad eyes break your heart and make you want to help them. The commercials were extremely successful in their mission to raise money for animals in need. According to the New York Times, $30 million was raised in the first two years of the commercial being released.
According to BBC News, more than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes and 4.3 have fled the country. They are in need of food, shelter, money and other basic needs as refugees. Poland has taken in a majority of these refugees, but many Ukrainians are still struggling to get out alive. Yes, the United States and many other countries have donated money to help Ukraine, but we can’t forget about those who are actually being affected.
When we stop talking about death and violence, we forget it’s happening. When we stop talking about Ukrainian civilians dying, we forget them.