I’ve avoided talking about the whole Paris Hilton Goes to Jail thing, mostly because the whole thing is fairly sickening on a lot of levels, not the least of which being that such a giggling genital wart still manages to hijack the news on a regular basis. Go ahead. Click that link. See that little number over to the top-right? 3,984 news articles about a vapid waste of carbon. Cause, you know, it’s not like there’s other stuff going on in the world that might more urgently require our attention, right?
However, where some find gleeful schadenfreude, others find bizarre coincidence. The photo included in this post was taken yesterday by API photographer Nick Ut. While that might not mean anything to you off the top of your head, add to that thought the fact that 35 years ago to the day, Huynh Cong Ut (as he was known then) took this iconic (and Pulitizer Prize winning) photograph of a 9 year old Phan Thị Kim Phúc, naked and badly burned, fleeing in terror from a napalm attack on her village. I’ve seen this image countless times, and it never fails to break my heart. The urge to step into that photo and attempt to comfort those terrified children is so powerful that I can hardly bear it.
Just think: 35 years later Ut captures another image of sobbing terror (albeit of an altogether different sort), and the world nearly cackles with glee. I’ve no sympathy for Hilton, but c’mon. I’m more saddened than anything, but not for the poor little rich girl. I certainly wouldn’t wish that Ut were in Iraq covering the war (as one horrific war is more than enough nightmare fuel for anyone), but it certainly does remind me just how badly our media is failing us in terms of informing the public on matters that truly impact our lives.
Thanks to the AOL Photo Talk editors for making the connection.