While people drool over the sex scandals of the US president, more pressing and life-threatening issues go unattended.
Over a million people march the streets, most of them children and young people, listening to the inspiring speeches of student victims in a protest against guns and gun violence in the US. Despite local pockets of tolerance and good will, people of colour, women, gays and trans people bear the brunt of vicious attacks and are systematically belittled if not excluded. Industrial giants continue to rape the world for the profit of a rich minority while the seas rise, the temperature continues to go up, air and water are increasingly polluted and the climate becomes savagely unpredictable. The massive and systematic use of antibiotics threatens to render the fight against disease ineffective. Food, rather than being a source of nutrition and joy, is fast becoming a source of ill health as production is industrialised and nature is manipulated and tampered with. The eruption of armed conflicts leads to the slaughter of innocents and to mass displacements coupled with abject conditions for millions of people. After a brief lull in the development and stockpiling of arms of mass destruction, the belligerent race to arm or rearm is consuming precious resources and menacing life on our planet. Democracy is being ridiculed and undermined in those countries that long-time claimed to be its champions. More and more countries are leaning towards authoritarian systems that favour the few while wreaking havoc amongst the increasing number of disenfranchised and curtailing the freedom of the press and media as reliable sources of information. And the list goes.
While all this happens, twenty-two million people in the US and the media worldwide drool over a pornstar making tepid revelations on TV about supposedly having sex with the president and being threatened by his henchmen men. That he abused numerous women, that he seeks to disenfranchise if not eliminate all that he perceives as undermining his authority and interests, that he rigged the elections, that he colluded with foreign powers whose interests were opposed to that of his own citizens, that his discourse is often despicable if not unhinged, that he and his administration condone or even favour many of the catastrophes mentioned above, all are grave and worthy of consideration, if not outrage. Yet this story of porn and power and similar tales are disproportionately dished up, out of fascination and morbid glee or unfounded hopes to dislodge a sick president. They distort and distract from issues that we cannot afford to ignore.