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Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair

Unless you are completely off the grid, chances are that you have heard several news stories about Caitlyn Jenner’s brave transformation into Vogue cover model. Chances are also good that unless you happen to work at the pentagon, be stationed near the South China Sea or read the back pages of the internet, you are unaware of China’s two-year ongoing intention to develop maritime capabilities that could threaten the United States and its allies. Makes you just want to release a slow, low whistle, doesn’t it?

But back to Jenner, since that is more interesting news anyway, according to common analytics. The carefully staged event of Jenner’s coming out is orchestrated to sensationalize. It has all the ingredients of first-rate propaganda. At once polarizing yet approachable, the story has caused social media to be lit up with discussions ranging from how much of a heroic inspiration Jenner is to how stylish her corset and creamy white skin are.

If they had put Jenner in the Gold/White Blue/Black dress, who knows what would have happened! Brains all over the world might have instantly turned to goo. Yes, I am being somewhat facetious, and I don’t want to disparage Jenner, who no doubt is courageous and convicted, but I think maybe the rest of us need to take some personal responsibility to focus on news stories that may elicit change. I fear we are wasting a valuable resource: our huge think tank of brains that might be able to come up with creative solutions, or at least start honest discussions. At the very least, we need to open our eyes and be prepared.

For example, at some point, the United States needs to respond to China’s actions, and all indications are that it has no strategy whatsoever. What is the tool kit? Does the Obama administration go in with chest puffed up and guns waving? A loaded military response could have some serious consequences. Wielding economic leverage, on the other hand, would be tough against such an adept country that has shown no hesitation in using such strategy. Where is such discussion on Facebook, or Twitter or in the news? Where is the analysis? Instead we seem to be concentrating our energy on projecting the popularity of the names Bruce, Jenner, and Caitlyn for babies being born in 2015.

If China’s expansionism is not the right cup of tea, perhaps we could talk about the G-7 summit, the MERS outbreak, ISIS or the epidemic of child sex slavery? I confess that I don’t know enough about any of these world news issues. It is easier not to.

We need to seek out the news and be proactive about staying informed. We need to be advocates for ourselves when it comes to getting the information that could make a difference.

Add your own issues, which we should examine, in the comments below.

Photograph by  for Vanity Fair

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