Saturday, July 23, 2011

Shockingly, Most People Can Care About More Than One Thing At Once

Yesterday, 7 people were killed in a bombing in Oslo and 84 more were executed at a Labor Party camp in Utøya.  Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian, has been arrested for the island massacre and a connection to the bombing.  Obviously, there is still a lot of information shaking out.  This is an incredibly sad and unusual violent event for Norway, and I'd imagine that the "that doesn't happen here" shock that Norwegians are experiencing today and will continue to feel is almost as traumatic as the violence itself.  I'll certainly be holding Norway in the light, and I'm sure many other Americans will be doing the same.  [NB: For those who know the Weege, she and her family and friends are all fine.]

Today, Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27.

About five minutes after the first wave of Facebook linking about Winehouse's death went by, a second wave started building, this one featuring people saying things to the effect of "that shitty good-for-nothing Amy Winehouse finally died so obviously all you callous stupid assholes will stop talking and thinking about Norway."  This is my least favorite kind of self-righteous douchery and I would like to address it.

In re: this Specific Instance
1. Amy Winehouse very obviously had a lot of shit in her life that she was struggling to deal with.  The overall tone of "who cares, she was worthless because she did drugs all the time" is so, so shitty.  Anyone who dies at 27 deserves a measure of pity.  Drug users and drug addicts do not stop being human because of their drug use.  Stop minimizing a troubled person's humanity because they did shit you didn't like or sang songs you didn't happen to enjoy.

2. Sadness is not a zero-sum game, nor is concern, nor is attention.  Norway's tragedy is an entirely different situation from Amy Winehouse.  Amazingly enough, people can care about more than one thing at once, even in different ways!

General Fuckery
Stop. Playing.  Sadness. Olympics.  There is a lot of sadness in this world and it takes a lot of different forms. That's how life goes.

Here's a test, in 60 seconds I'm going to name all the sad things worthy of consideration I can think of.

Sochi Olympics
Canadian oil sands
The debt ceiling
Darfur's reconstruction
The Greek economy
Famine in Somalia
Child soldiers everywhere
US poverty rates
No Child Left Behind
Walter Reed's closure
Guantanamo Bay
Global warming

All of those things?  Are worthy of consistent and focused consideration.  So I read about them.  They do not need ranking and even when I am focusing on one or the other intently, sometimes one of my friends is going to link me to a game or something and I am going to get distracted and think about that for a while.  You don't get to suggest that because I give a shit about Amy Winehouse passing away, I am somehow less serious or less able to be worried about Norway and its larger implications.  I don't assume you're a fucking moron who can't hold two thoughts in your head at the same time, so do me the same courtesy.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN. I've noticed my tolerance for people's bullshit judgery is hitting an all time low. This is precisely when social media can kiss my ass. Seriously, STFU, most of humanity. Your opinions aren't nearly as important as you think they are.