I would like to relate to you a bit of a... I'll call it surreal experience that I've had in my economics class. So a little background for you I'm a senior in high school at the time of this writing and I'm what you'd call, I suppose, a goth kid. I wear black all the time, I love baggy pants with chains all over, and when I can get hold of nail polish I paint my nails black. Now, me being of the male sex, this puts some people off and not just the overtly religious. Anyway, I find myself in economics class, I believe the week of the death of Osama Bin Laden, and the subject of torture, or enhanced interrogation as they called it, came up. This being a school in the fine state of Texas (and don't take that as sarcasm I really do like it here... all things considered) most of the students here are conservative christians. So, naturally, they support the idea with a rather remarkable zeal whereas I, being an atheist libertarian, find the idea of government sanctioned torture abhorrent. However, our particular difference of opinion is not the point of this post and indeed our religious affiliation has no bearing on our beliefs about political philosophy or the use of torture. But what I find interesting, to come to my point finally, is that in the middle of a rather heated debate over torture, what it is, its ethical use (if any), a girl sitting a few seats down from me blurts out the question "why do you paint your nails black?" and instantly the whole class, including the teacher, got off the subject of torture and foreign policy and became profoundly interested in my personal fashion choices, and we spent the last five or so minutes of class on this topic. I ask you which issue is more pressing my chosen shade of cosmetic or the torture of prisoners of war. This is sort of my personal brush with the sort of larger phenomenon of people becoming obsessed with things which simply don't matter. Gay marriage is a rather heated debate in the US while multiple genocides occur around the world and get maybe an hour a week on the news if that. Why do people care about things which just aren't important in the broader context. Not to say that gay marriage doesn't matter at all, I don't think the government should dictate who you can and can't be in a committed relationship with but shouldn't torture, genocide, genital mutilation, and war be given at least equal time???