A recent New York Times article chronicling mass starvation and drought in the war-torn impoverished country of Somalia caused millions of affected US citizens to seek humorously-captioned cat photos in a desperate effort to forget what they had just read.
"I was pretty shaken up" admits 34 year old American, Jonathon Grant. "First came the outrage and devastation. Then came an understanding of the changes I would need to make in my life in order to make a difference. And then lastly, a fleeting tinge of guilt after realizing that if I could just manage to forget about the existence of those half million people suffering, I could go on living my life like it isn’t happening."
Jonathon was among millions of Americans who sought refuge from real-world problems by visiting the popular internet site Icanhascheezburger.com, which features photos of felines in amusing poses, typically accompanied by a caption speculating on the cat's thoughts. According to the site, server activity jumped around 7:15 am and steadily rose throughout the day, as citizens woke up and read the article, processed the gravity of the situation, and immediately began searching for something cute and innocent to help their minds shut out third world realities.
Website founder Jason Abrams isn't surprised. "I've always supported the theory that all it takes is one justifiable laugh for everything to be right in the world again. Still, it's humbling to know that I'm making such a difference. In America, at least."
While the New York Times acknowledges the depressing nature of the story, the newspaper remains unapologetic. The journalist who wrote the piece declined an interview, but a close source says she is currently distracting herself from the article’s critical reception by surfing a website dedicated to ridiculing people with mullets.