There are things that have burned into my brain against my will: The photo of England’s Prince Andrew with an arm around a minor blonde’s waist, laughing at the camera. Or the Muah-Muah sound when Heidi Klum hands out air kisses. Friedrich Merz’s smug, arrogant, overbearing facial expression when he looks at eloquent women in talk shows. Or the list of influencers that footballer Mats Hummels is said to be fucking right now. All things I would never know. There is an area in my memory where all this redundant information is stored. Unfortunately. I do not want a waste area in my brain.
We simply can not avoid some reports with little news value, which are flushed into our feed with the higher frequency. I’m not even on Instagram, but Sophia Thomalla’s tattoos have crept into my consciousness. I want to know who is to blame ?!
We learn all about a slap in the face, the American actor Will Smith gave a comedian at the Oscars. And then all about another slap that the upcoming comedian Oliver Pocher got from someone, certainly deserved. But seriously: is there anyone who is interested in it besides Oliver Pocher himself?
There are scandals that are much bigger than blows to the face by and for celebrities: for example, the fact that the FDP still prevents the introduction of a speed limit of 130 on German autobahns. Another scandal is that the recently published report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is becoming more or less silent. The IPCC in no way says that there is only a “limited period” in which we can save the planet. Where are the headlines? The breaking news? Talkshows? The daily updates? The Insta stories? Or is this news so devastating that it’s rather moved to the “miscellaneous” section of the cat videos, so as not to scare the audience?
Many serious developments are simply ignored by the German press because they do not take place in the immediate geographical vicinity.
Has anyone noticed that the world’s largest democracy is slowly but surely becoming a fascist state? We are not talking about the United States here, even though it looks like Donald Trump will also run again for the next election there, and then good night. But no, I mean India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs to a radical Hindu party that has been working for decades to transform the country into a Hindu theocracy. The slogan is “Hindutva”, authoritarian Hindu nationalism. Fanatical politicians publicly call for the “extermination” of Muslims. Radical Hindu crowds are harassing Muslim women, and security agencies are threatening critical journalists. Hindutva thugs beat Dalits – formerly denounced as “untouchables” – to death in the streets. Laws are changed to discriminate against religious minorities. Lots of steps towards a fascist Hindu state. And the German media? They are happy that India’s economy is booming – just like ‘the world’.
Or a completely different construction site: Who, apart from meteorologists, is interested in the fact that temperatures in both the Arctic and Antarctic have been 30 to 40 degrees Celsius higher than normal over the past few weeks? Please stop for a moment and think about what would happen to us if it happened here at our latitudes: Today it is 18 degrees in Cologne. Plus 40, that would be 58 degrees. My balcony plants would then probably be gone. And not just them.
Dear colleagues from the media industry, can you please present these figures to all politicians? And not be revealed with platitudes?
Of course, we all need distraction and entertainment. Following the news of the Ukraine war and the pandemic, I also have to google recipes for baking bread; I do not bake bread at all. But recipes are a big distraction. Heidi Klum’s model show can also relax like brain yoga: When I watch ‘Germany’s Next Top Model’, my brain activity immediately drops to zero and I immediately fall asleep. Absolutely meditative.
But the really important issues must not be neglected. We no longer have the luxury of wasting printer ink and shipping time on nonsense. It is about our survival, as anti-fascists and as humanity and as the planet. Global warming is more dramatic than it has been for millions of years. Dear editorial management: Maybe the number of viewers and the number of clicks is not so important. Give us the information we need to save us.