Friday, March 11, 2011

Two Responses to Tragedy (From My Tumblr)

There is a big, big difference in saying “Keep Japan in your prayers” and saying “Only the worst selfish asshole wouldn’t pray for Japan.” Big difference, you disrespectful brats.

It is possible to feel bad for what happens to other people without having to make sure you make a Tumblr-friendly stand or statement about it. The natural disaster in Japan is not yet another opportunity to show off how much you care and how sensitive you are to a bunch of strangers on a social network. If you care and you’re sensitive, beautiful. But you don’t need Tumblr to validate it. And you don’t need to call people assholes if they don’t. If you put up a note about praying for Japan, that’s your business. If I don’t “like” it or reblog it, that doesn’t make me an asshole.

How about those of us who don’t pray? I’m an atheist; telling me to pray for the safety of others is like telling me to shut my eyes tight, click my heels, and wish really, really, really hard so I can make myself feel better for being so powerless against the universe. But out of respect for you and your beliefs, I don’t answer you by telling you you’re an asshole for believing that it’s going to do some good. So don’t answer my lack of belief with the same kind of disrespect I’m not displaying towards you.

I feel terrible for the people caught up in this disaster. But their disaster isn’t about how I feel. That’s not being an asshole. That’s being realistic. Don’t accuse me of being heartless just because I’m not putting grief on display. Some of us have these feelings privately. I’m not saying I’m better than you for it. I’m saying I’m different than you.

Big deal, right? Let’s show a little of that acceptance that you’re always claiming is a hallmark of Tumblr.

1 comment:

Tallulah Morehead said...

Puh-leaze. "Praying" for Japan accomplishes nothing, but allows the superstitious and the credulous to believe in the illusion that they are doing something when they are, in fact, doing nothing. It's the selfish of the world who are praying, while the practical are actually doing stuff, even if it's only donating money to relief organizations.