I saw this firsthand while I was in Ethiopia reporting on the recent Westword feature "Pot of Gold." I spent some time with Getinet Kelkle, the former secretary general of the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters' Association. At the time, his country was erupting in small-scale riots, suffering from mass flooding, and preparing to go to war with Somalia. He never mentioned any of it. The only time current events came up was when he turned to me and asked, "What happened to that guy who killed the child?"
He was talking, of course, about John Mark Karr and JonBenet Ramsey. -- Joel Warner