Friday, March 18, 2011

National Blog Insensitivity

The Tofu Muchacha mentioned to me the other day that there's some sort of movement for a "Blogger Day of Silence" all blogs on March 18th in an act of support for Japan.

How in the ever living hell does a "Blogger Day of Silence" solve anything? Who believes that the people of Japan give two shits about whether I talk about what Disney movies I've enjoyed lately, or what outfit The Tofu Muchacha wore today, or what Jordan Baker thought about the latest episode of Top Chef? You know who believes the people of Japan cares?


Blogging is, inherently, a self-centered activity. Sure, there are some bloggers who have developed significant followings, but 99 out of 100 blogs out there started as a person talking to themselves. Only bloggers would believe that the populace of a country ravaged by natural disaster, (where people are DYING, and homes are destroyed, and oh... internet connections are being interrupted everywhere), would ever even know that a handful of self-important bloggers in the safe and warm confines of their respective homes DIDN'T blog. It's so fucking dumb.

I know, I know... It's a symbolic gesture. How bout this... if you feel that you need to make a gesture, how bout you donate to the relief funds? How about you use your blog for it's actual purpose, and write a post about how you've been affected by the circumstances you've observed in Japan.

Part of the beauty of a blog is that you can talk about whatever you want. Whatever you feel. On this blog I've talked about all kinds of nonsense just for the sake of talking about it. If I felt the need to make a blog related gesture on behalf of the millions of people who don't know I exist, I'd be more likely to go the cathartic route, and write something reflective about the tragedy.

Instead, I've felt the need to comment on the meaninglessness of a suggested gesture. And, you know, show the world (or my 11 readers) that I'm just an insensitive dick. Whatever.

You know... while I'm at it...

I've heard tell of bloggers talking about being actually offended that people on Twitter and Blogs had the unmitigated nerve to actually tweet and blog about.... NOT Japan. I know! How dare @redreporter talk about what happened with The Cincinnati Reds!?!?! How DARE Alan Sepinwall blog about TV on his TV blog?!!!?? The Nerve! The Gall!!

Listen... I understand feeling the need to all sit in a corner and cry when you can't do anything about something so horrible you can't really even comprehend the scope of it. I get it. 9/11 was like that too. Everyone just sat, transfixed, weeping and wringing their hands, and that made everyone feel so much better. But you know... it really didn't. What made people feel better? When football started back up again. And when Letterman made jokes on TV that weren't about terrorists and death.

The thing about people is... they get obsessive. We all have a need for diversion. Diversion doesn't mean we don't care. It just means we don't go crazy with grief and sadness.

And you know... if you don't want to be offended by the lack of FOCUS on TWITTER (the single least focused media outlet in the history of the world), maybe... I dunno... don't fucking go to mother fucking Twitter.

If I was all:

"I am so upset, and I really need to talk it out. I need to go somewhere where everyone is focused on talking about the exact same thing with the exact same amount of gravity I am."

You bet your ass I wouldn't go to Twitter.

All of that said...

The disaster in Japan is one of the saddest, scariest events of my lifetime. The magnitude and reach of the tragedy makes me breathe harder, and makes my hands shake whenever I see anything about it. My heart goes out to the people of Japan. I pledge to post this blog today in the hopes to let you know how trivial I acknowledge my blog to be, in comparison to just about everything. At this moment, especially when comparison to the suffering of the millions of people, this dumbass rambling should mean even less.

Make a real difference, instead of NOT blogging:
Click here to donate real money to the relief efforts.


Anonymous said...

I usually resist the temptation to comment on blogs.
Now not-so-secret fact: I usually resist the temptation to read blogs.

But I wanted to thank you for being so reasonable on such a topic. There seems to have been an increase in the Meaningless Gesture recently, perhaps because we are so much more connected now thanks to the internet. And maybe because we feel that we have nothing to offer in the face of such disaster.

Every major human achievement begins with one person, and we need to redirect our emotional responses so that the best outcome can be had for those in need. If the best you can do to help is to donate a small sum of money, you should do that. Even more though, you need to acknowledge that this was the best type of help you could provide. I don’t have disaster training or the capacity to fly to Japan to be on the ground to help out. But I can donate some money.

The feeling of guilt doesn’t go away, but you’ve have done all that you reasonably can in a situation that is devastating. This is not a Meaningless Gesture.

Frank said...

I'm with you on the meaningless gesture. I get this sort of stuff all the time via facebook and e-mail telling me that if I want to support A, I should where a red shirt on Friday or something else as trivial. It seems to me that the amount of effort that people go to to create and disseminate such nonsense would, as you suggested, be better spent on actual good works. But the idea that because I won't wear a red shirt on Friday (or whatever) means that I'm not down with the cause (and probably "Un-American") is just getting out of hand.

Bernadette said...

I'm with you, Beefy.

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