Cynthia Bateman11 March 2011Overlooking Environmental Injustice: A Marxist Interpretation of the Distracting Power of CapitalismWithin the last week, all of the following major news websites have ran with front pagestories covering the public devolvement of actor Charlie Sheen:
BBC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post,
and even France¶s news site
posts seemingly daily updates on the actor¶s health, employment, and financialstatus. Yesterday I overheard a woman ask her teenage grandson what he thought poor Charlie¶s³problem´ was as she stood in the checkout line at the supermarket, perusing a myriad of tabloids that flashed headlines like ³How Stars Battle Cellulite´ and ³Charlie¶s Public Downfall´but made no mention of rising HIV rates in Mississippi.
An epidemic of distraction has seized America. Evidence of such can be witnessed firsthand by a stroll through the main floor of the library at my university on any given afternoon.There, sitting just inches away from flat-screen computer monitors, will no doubt be a roomful of students occupying the library¶s limited number of computers with the dire tasks of updatingtheir Facebook statuses, attempting to top their latest scores at Bejeweled, or watching YouTubevideos. If a student comes along who wants to use the computers for actual academic research,she must wait for a seat to become available, or more accurately, she must wait for one of the
³US: Mississippi Policies Fuel HIV Epidemic.´ Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 9Mar. 2011. Web. 8 Mar. 2011. This article compares the rate of untreated HIV positivepeople in Mississippi (one of the poorest states in America) with those in Botswana,Ethiopia, and Rwanda. The article argues that the state has consistently failed to takeadvantage of federal funds available to it (because of its poor status) that could be used tosupport HIV education, housing, and healthcare.