Over the last few months, I’ve been guilty of doing that thing. You know that thing that people hate when you hear of some atrocity and immediately put a flag up on you profile picture or overlay one on an existing picture?
I have mixed feelings about them.
With the French flag, I had a personal investment in the situation. One that still haunts me and still provokes tears when someone speaks the wrong word at the wrong time. I suppose a lot of my sympathies and flag waving stems from that. Understanding the horror that people are going through from a personal perspective puts a whole different spin on things, I guess. I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not.
However . . . how many flags can I wave?
You hear of something appalling happening every other day. Each time a different country has suffered terror, loss and heartache and I feel for them all. Even the ones that we don’t hear about until weeks after the event; the ones not covered by our national news outlets.
It’s not the beginning and end of our responsibilities. It’s okay being an armchair anarchist and shouting the odds about not hearing various bits of news. We should be hearing about that stuff. The delay in hearing about them doesn’t make them any less important, though. No one should have to go through this. Do not berate people because it takes a while for some information to filter through the news media. That is a slightly different issue, albeit a huge problem but focus on the message, not the medium. Mostly, stop being a dick about stuff before your friends. That absolutely isn’t the issue.
All I can do is support the various causes, send money to relief charities, that sort of thing, which I do. Simply putting a flag on my timeline isn’t enough for me. It shouldn’t be for you. Although, y’know, times are hard, money is in short supply. I get that. The gesture in and of itself does raise awareness, but it’s not enough. We need to do more than give it lip service.
So, anyway, I made a decision not to bother with flag waving any more. I’m fed up of self-righteous people berating me for putting ‘x flag’ up but not ‘y flag’. No one can be expected to keep up with every atrocity; and playing games of ‘I know about more atrocities than you’ is distasteful, egocentric gainsaying and achieves nothing except a smug glow from the perpetrator. Slamming people for not putting up the ‘right’ flags is just pathetic. I’m having none of it. I’m just doing to do my thing quietly and privately; not subject to fashion, ego or a need to be seen to support the ‘right’ things.
The fact of the matter is that there is only one place that matters. You can see it in the accompanying picture. That’s who would should be looking out for; that’s who we should be caring for; that is who we should be loving and supporting.
I’m sure someone will take me to task for only showing one side of the planet and say “well what about the other side?” Well, fuck you, it’s an illustration not a conspiracy.
That is all.
I just needed to get that of my chest.