Turning on Friday morning’s early news bulletin we are informed that a sixteen-year-old boy has been fatally stabbed in Brisbane. He is found, close to death, alone on a footpath, bleeding profusely and dies in hospital shortly afterwards.
Police are not discounting ‘gang’ activity.
That evening, as we sit engrossed in an episode of ‘Vera’ on ABC television, the broadcast is interrupted by an announcement that Prince Philip has died at the age of 99.
The announcers go on and on about the Prince’s demise and his history of how he met the future Queen of England and so on and so on. The Governor General appears and begins a long and dreary talk on the prince’s life and involvement in activities or whatever - and we give up on ever finding out how Vera discovers the villain in the story we were watching. We turn off the television.
And I can’t help but think how some lives – and deaths – are more important than others. In fact, how some lives are more valuable, or valued than others.
Reported deaths of at least 500 brave protestors in Myanmar are given two minutes of reportage on our news.
Grieving relatives of the hundred and more people killed by the horrendous floods and landslides in East Timor and Indonesia are shown on Australia’s news bulletins, before being brushed aside to concentrate on domestic issues.
The murdered Brisbane boy is named as Yannis and photos of him appear in newspapers and online. He is a big and mature looking sixteen-year-old, but he is still only a boy.
Sure, he and his mates were possibly ‘up to no good’ – we don’t know, but he was still a schoolboy, with friends – most of whom would not have wished him to be murdered.
What was his story?
Prince Philip had led a life of privilege and luxury. He had lived to be 2 months short of 100 years.
He travelled extensively and had a busy social life, enjoying wealth and extreme advantage.
What chance had Yannis to achieved fame and fortune in his short life of sixteen years? You can bet that his was not a life of privileges and luxury.
And now, I admit that I would rather hear about the life story of Yannis more than that of the prince. I would like to know and understand what leads a sixteen-year-old boy to be out and about at night-time with a group of friends – one of whom was in a possession of a large knife and prepared to use it – and did.
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