By Dasha Kelly Special to Published Feb 20, 2008 at 7:39 AM


I snatched up the newspaper, and devoured the first two paragraphs with panicked dread.


That Georgia.

The moment I realized the newspaper report was referring to the country called Georgia, and not Home of The Bulldogs Georgia, "reading" immediately melted to skimming and then to anywhere else in the paper other than "World" news. Can't bring myself to really care about the other Georgia. Well, it's not that I don't care. Of course I care. It's just that my version is a more generic, non-committal, because-it's-the-human-thing-to-do kind of thing.

Certainly, this would be a convenient spot for saddling up my high horse and waxing philosophic about our nation's own tangle of crises; but that would be completely disingenuous.

Without a doubt, I do disapprove of how quickly the U.S. will airlift PBJ sandwiches to distant lands while our own farmers wait for federal support, watching generations of their traditions and labor evaporate into crisp Midwestern skies; all of our nation's children are left behind in all conceivable ways; New Orleans, Washington DC and the entire state of West Virginia are still waiting for their Uncle Sam to help them rebuild; environmental salvation is still somehow viewed by the masses as being optional; and the series I Love New York is being renewed yet again.

Yeah, I have plenty to concern ourselves with before The Other Georgia could even blip the radar. Still, it's not about that. I have to be honest. The plain truth is that I just don't care to waste any brain space on World news. Major headlines, like typhoons, coups, epidemics and discovered species? Sure! In-depth discovery of the historical legacies and cultural dynamics manifesting in daily Page Six headlines? Mmmmmm ... I'll pass.

Couldn't say exactly when I gave myself permission to stop paying attention to the rest of the Earth, but it's been a while. I suppose I should awkward about this admission, considering I'm an otherwise responsible grown up, and all. I should feel slack, but I don't. I simply ... don't. On the zero occasions when The Other Georgia came up in conversation and I wasn't versed in its history or issues, I didn't feel the least bit awkward! In fact, I was thankful that I'd used that precious time, instead, to stay up on the presidential race and consider new proposals for Social Security reform and learn about a the factors that influence recidivism and read The Spiderwick Chronicles with my daughters.

Oh, that Georgia?

Wish them all the best for me. There's a lot of news happening on this side of the ocean and I just can't bring myself to get any more involved than that.

Dasha Kelly Special to
Dasha Kelly is an eloquent and accomplished writer who is able to unfold the spoken word into a variety of precision tools: as a performer, lecturer, or instructor. On the creative side, Dasha has published a novel, All Fall Down and three audio compilations of her original poetry. These earned her a place in Written Word Magazine as one of the Top Ten Up-and-Coming Writers of the Midwest. The Milwaukeean performs her work regularly throughout the nation and has opened concerts for comedians Tommy Davidson and Damon Williams and neo-soul artist Angie Stone. In 2007, Dasha will appear on the sixth season of HBO presents Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam.