(2016 Sanitation Edit)
Are you a forthright person? Do you like to help others in dire situations? If you feel that the assistance you provide to other people is executed in a noble and selfless manner, then you could just about fit the bill. That’s right – you could be a warrior too.
Ah yes – it must be amazing to be a part of something so special. A group so synonymous with backseat drivers – you’d almost think they were in the same league! But they’re not, and you’ll tell me about it with a hundred statements of your opinion and links to informative, though seemingly one-sided articles about the subject. Never mind that your regular upbringing happened in a cosy Australian suburb, you too can relate to the trials and tribulations experienced by others all across the world.
“I just feel so terrible about their plight!” *tweets about it, reaches for coffee*
However, becoming a warrior is not just about expressing your opinions regarding important world issues with your friends, no sir. It’s about how swiftly you can do it from the comfort of your thousand dollar couch or office chair – through a telecommunications network only really accessible by your thousand dollar gadgets of various descriptions (if it’s an internet fridge you’re out however) – while somehow still managing to carry a straight face of sympathy at the end.
If my social media sites are anything to go by, you – yes you – recently shared a tale with me about some Ugandan warlord’s reign of terror that I didn’t watch. While that situation is apparently serious (and so is the one where the creator of that short got arrested for public masturbation – you guys weren’t so quick to share that little story, were you?), you can’t possibly sit behind your phone or computer and tell me you care.
It’s one thing to share a story of heartbreak or suffering so that others can learn about it, but it’s entirely another to sit there and try to argue that by sharing a link – on the internet – that you’re actually doing something meaningful. That you’re actually helping those people that you’re so concerned about. The standard definition of ‘doing something’ would be getting on the next flight to wherever-the-hell and literally trying to help.
2012’s definition on the other hand, especially amongst my generation and the ones directly after me, appears to be one of ‘I’m helping!’ by sharing a worthless internet URL amongst friends.
Regular readers should know that I try not to use memes or motivationals because they aren’t very high in worth, but this one was just too good to pass up.
If you were really, really passionate about a world issue – you would literally get involved and try to fix it. That’s what the Red Cross and many other worthwhile agencies try to do everyday, all over the world. They don’t sit on their couches at home pretending to help by sharing links to manipulative documentaries. And before you get all defensive, manipulation is exactly what documentaries are meant to be good at – making you see their viewpoint over all others – that’s why Today Tonight isn’t a documentary about bogans. Because they aren’t very good… but I digress;
I’ve thought about it, and personally I don’t think I’m being ignorant when I ignore stupid shit on the internet. My upbringing was in no way similar to people living in the poorest corners of third world countries, or under the harshest of communist regimes – and I certainly appreciate the good fortune of that fact. Sure, I can empathise with someones unfortunate situation, maybe donate money to a worthwhile cause so that the actual help there can do something with it, but I don’t operate in illusions. I won’t pretend to be anything I’m not.
Pretending to be an activist for the benefit of my social standing amongst e-buddies, when I’m not actually one, is not only a massive waste of time but a lie as well. Peoples willingness to just buy into the newest thing without reading any alternative viewpoints about it, really irritates me. It really is important to know what other people are going through in this life, just not through the perspective of manipulated internet documentaries. Read some books, articles, newspapers, fucking something – don’t let yourself be sold on an issue by what one idiot showed you over the internet.
“I’d go, but my back might give out and then I’d have to come back anyway. In the meantime…” *clicks share link*
Personally, I’ve been reading about North Korea for a little while now and can tell you for certain about how messed up their situation is. And their situation, which not only makes me appreciate what I have, is one that is literally almost impossible to help them with due to the nature of their communist overlords. Military over all, and their ‘Juche’ (self reliance) ideology, carried out in an almost barren country, sandwiched between the economic powerhouses of South Korea and China.
They have it tough. If I was ignorant, clearly I wouldn’t have given a flying fuck enough to learn about what’s happening there.
Some friends actually tried to insult me for having not watched and shared the Ugandan video like a billion others, but the fact is, I refuse to buy into shit that’s plastered everywhere (still haven’t seen Lord of the Rings to this day, after it’s publicity storm turned me off). I was interested reading about it, and its creator after the fact however. The facts behind it were more interesting than a manipulative documentary. The premise behind the short – trying to harness the power of social media to make the guy an anti-celebrity – was a noble but heinous idea. The internet is a harsh mistress, and mostly one that’s not willing to leave it’s cosy armchair’s and cappuccinos behind to bring down a Ugandan warlord.
From my perspective, the whole exercise was an irritating sensation that only managed to gather an army of Armchair Warriors that, somehow ironically, managed not to actually do anything last time I checked. And that, my friends, is the power of the internet. There in spirit, but not literally.