Crisis in the Holy Land heating up! Tensions boil between Israel and Palestine! Headlines like these have graced the U.S. media for months now, even longer on-and-off. But, ex post 9/11-o America has become decidedly more interested in all matters in the Middle East, wondering how much, if at all, the events in the Holy Land will reach their soil. And there is no doubt the mass media will be there to cover the events. And inevitably over-cover them.

Paul Wong

The popularization of certain plights of specific groups occurs as a direct result of media-related propaganda making larger news stories out of events than they truly are. In-depth coverage of certain events inevitably excludes other notable events and situations. The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary truly deserves no more press than anything else, yet through constant whining, complaining and bemoaning, they find themselves being written about often. Too often. Similarly, the level of crisis occurring in the Holy Land leads to its own overexposure destroying the plights of other countries deemed ‘not as important’ by the powers that be. And so the plight of the Palestinian people gets popularized, much like the beguiled moaning of BAMN locally and exposure increases to a frenzied pitch, leaving true plights of nations less savory in the broadcast and print journalistic dust.

That ends now.

The unfortunately ignored nation of Lithuania – my fatherland, my home, my saving grace has weighed on my soul for almost two years now. Since my grandparents on my mother’s side came over fleeing the heartland our family, our clan has been steeped in Lithuanian culture. The food of Lithuania, I’m sure tastes wonderful, it is like the mead and nectar of the gods I am sure. My blood bleeds the colors of the Lithuanian flag, whatever, in fact those colors are, for I have not been privy to the fortune of gazing upon its tremendous visage in my 21 years. But I hope to go there, when it is safe. For every terrible instant and inoculation of horror that occurs in Lithuania feels like one of my limbs is being torn off and dragged behind a raging stallion. My Lithuanian colored blood stains the ground as my arm is towed by a wild steed. Oh, the stains and horror.

The crisis in Lithuania first came to my attuned senses in the Fall of 2000, and the burden has been resting on my heart heavily since then, squeezing at my soul. While playing FIFA 2001 by EA Sports, I naturally gravitated toward my home people, the Lithuanian national team, only to find that they (along with Lebanon) were rated horribly. In fact, Lithuania and Lebanon were the two lowest ranking teams in FIFA 2001. Even after I had created Grandpa Rasikas to be the Lithuanian team’s star mid-fielder, there was still no hope for the dastardly horrendous Lithuanian national team. My people are being discriminated against by being marginalized in the FIFA rankings.

Further, does the world market hold something against countries that start with the letter ‘L’ as in the cases of Lithuania and Lebanon? Am I going to be discriminated against doubly in life because my name starts with an ‘L’ and I’m Lithuanian? Questions like this have been racing through my mind as I’ve watched the unpopular plight of the Lithuanians be overlooked on a global scale. Even now, the United States is contemplating shipping $500 million to Africa to help them out with some stuff. Why not ship some of that fat cat of cash to Lithuania so they can buy themselves a soccer team and global respectability?

Palestine and Israel’s plight may not be bringing them World Cup championships or incredible ratings in the digital gaming emporium, but it is bringing them ink and plenty of it.

Now is the time to champion a new cause, the cause of the Lithuanians, the cry of a nation whose FIFA team managed a paltry 0-6-2 record in the World Cup qualifying season. Raise your arms and praise the glorious colors of the Lithuanian flag and feel the mercurial beating of the heart of a nation and a plight less than popular.

Follow me, follow me to freedom!

Luke Smith can be reached at lukems@umich.edu.

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