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"Breaking News" is a matter of perspective

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Will someone please explain to me why today's news stories mention nothing about my mother being very sick for the past few years? She's currently undergoing treatment in Texas but all I can find in the search engines are stories about Anna Nicole's baby, Britney's shaved head, and the latest bit of doubletalk from some elected official or corporate CEO. Where are the headlines about my top story? My mom's illness is big news but not one newspaper, website, or TV show is covering it. Why can't anyone in the media appreciate how serious this is? Don't they realize my mom is my best friend?

It's all I can think about. As I ride the subway, my mind is not consumed by how "elect-able" a particular candidate might be. Jessica Simpson's newest beau doesn't remotely pique my interest while I do my workouts. While eating my meals, the Knicks' chances of making the playoffs appear supremely irrelevant. Yet—somehow—this is all people seem to be concerned with. Besides a handful of friends and family members, my mom's situation can't even beat out A-Rod as fodder for water cooler discussions.

These skewed priorities have me looking closer at my fellow humans as they swarm to and fro through the metropolis I call home. Surely, deep down inside, they don't actually give a damn about Paris Hilton's contempt for undergarments, right? Well then, what are these folks really thinking about? What is their headline? Maybe the woman talking loudly on her cell phone over there can't read but has kept it a secret for her entire adult life or perhaps the tired-looking man walking to my left is a closet alcoholic. See that homeless man with the tattered coffee cup? He quite possibly could be a veteran of the first Gulf War who's never recovered from the hell in which he participated.

I'm most likely surrounded by failed geometry tests, accepted marriage proposals, messy divorces, down payments on new houses, winning lottery tickets, and ideas for the Great American Novel. Go ahead and try it out for yourself. Look around at all those furtive flings, revised resumes, sexy secrets, heroic home runs, and yes, ailing relatives half a continent away. Everyone has a story; everyone has his or her own personal headline. Even so, if you knew my mom, you'd agree: There's only one headline that belongs on today's front page.

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net

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