Surprise, surpise activism isn’t actually my first love. I think it’s hard and sometimes boring.
Imagining what it’s like to be in Turkey right now is so depressing that I’m…not. My head is well and truly in the sand. Admitting this here doesn’t make it right. It’s wrong. My earlier, and feeble, attempt at reposting a link on Turkey was rightfully shot to pieces. It would have been clicktivism of the worst kind*. What the bloody hell can I do? It’s not even my government (for once) that I can shout at. Posting a link on facebook just to make myself feel like I have done something – and do well by my Turkish friends – isn’t helpful. I can’t/won’t do anything. Posting on facebook doesn’t change that.
I’m also too lazy and hypocritical to do anything about the Rossport solidarity camp against Shell. It’s worthy, inspiring and humbling. Really. Check it out. For me, getting there involves two transport modes, 13hrs each way, yet more PhD dodging, pitching and camping in tents, and £80+. But these aren’t so much the problem. It’s more that I don’t want to be around people I don’t know and (here’s the clincher) people I don’t want to know. I’m a misanthropic snob. I think politics, climate change and social justice are boring. Activists are massively annoying and canvassing sucks. (You try pushing a flimsy sheet of A4 through 1000 letterboxes; never knowing whether a Rottweiler’s snarling bite is on the other side. Don’t get too attached to the skin on your fingers. Because it won’t be by the time your done).
But these issues, and fighitng for these issues, are right, important and deserve people’s support. People don’t want to bang on about carbon emissions, land rights and Shell’s latest travesty for the sake of it. They do it because they have to. When we stop blindly destroying the planet and abusing the poor, I’ll be the first to shut up. And Ill do so elatedly.
Yes, it is easy, entertaing, and oh-so tempting to jeer the marathon runners, channel swimmers and and sky divers. Sure, writing off their charity fundrasing as a disguise for their own personal grandizement is funny. As is dodging fundraisers in the streets like a game of Bulldog. But here’s the thing. When people are apathetic, don’t donate of their own accord, and never actually get around to ‘sorting out their finances in order to give, like, properly’ the people of the marathon, street-fundraising ilk are fantastic. They get the job done. Brazenly ignoring the putrid awkwardness that charity nagging is, they manage to guilt us into giving something. And the means more than justify the ends (they KO them).
When you learn about today’s injustices, the proverbial
can vat of worms springs stampedes to mind. Us humans have 6 million years behind us, two world wars, and remorse about enslavement, genocide, censorship, stigmatization and much, much, more. And when it comes to abuses, we’re your all rounders. We’re good at all kinds. From women and children, to the environment and animals you name it, we’ve abused it. Yet today, not only are women STILL drastically behind men, but the poorest are STILL the sickest**, gays are STILL illegal, fascism STILL thrives and the list goes on. And then on. And then on. Suddenly, when only pulling seemed important, injustice’s signet-ringed hand slaps you around the face. It’s overwhelming.
So to survive (and continue living in our individualistic, materialist bubbles) we ruthlessly prioritize. Some choose politics, others go for movements, others say ‘fuck it’ and go shopping. The causes with the weaker voices, that can’t (or don’t) sexually titillate you, are left ignored. Campaigns for the disabled, immigrants , prostitutes or anyone not seen as ‘glamorous’ are low priority. But, the alternative, of not prioritizing, and of not saying no, is pure apathy; achieving even less. I’ve tried to do more activism, baking, sit ups, revision, gardening, (the list goes on)…cleaning, visiting, writing (enough now – Ed.). It doesn’t work. I have failures on top of failures who will swear blind (m’Lord) to this. So my convulted point is to stop wasting time feeling guilty and overwhelmed. You’re lazy and hypocritical. Accept it. Get over it. Now, do what you can.
*Some forms of clicktivism have their merits.
**(health wise, obviously).