Saturday, August 09, 2014

It's Not That I Don't Care

It's that I don't know what you want from me.

I log into facebook, and my news feed is punctuated by the occasional link to something on the Gaza events. The majority being sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians. The tiny minority being... I guess the best word is actively unsympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians.

But in terms of what is being posted, which I find sufficiently confusing to not propagate here, I just don't know why it is being shared. I get an intuitive impulse that the point is to attract my sympathy (and obviously it isn't targeted at me specifically, possibly not even generally) but it doesn't bear up under scrutiny.

The unsympathetic side of the debate is plainly juvenile. It's really confusing, I am not sufficiently conditioned or immersed in a culture where it can make sense to me.

The sympathetic side is - I don't know how to describe it. Borderline pointless.

Dave Trott speaks (in virtually all of his talks on Youtube) about Drink Driving ad campaigns, and also House Fire prevention campaigns. He said for years ad campaigns were run that basically were there to emphasize how much you didn't want to crash your car while drunk, or how horrible it would be for your house to burn down.

All they'd do, when the campaign had no effect on the numbers of house fires and DUI fatalities, was to try even harder to convince people they didn't want these things to happen.

And on that front, without knowing my history, my international law, or any real facts*. I know enough that I already am of the view that I dislike what is being done to the residents of the Gaza Strip. I am generally speaking anti-civilian deaths, I fucking hate the death of children.

So what do you want from me when showing me around the clock how horrible it is that people are being killed?

I can only notice this is very different from how my Japanese (and non-Japanese) friends reacted when Japan got hit by that massive tsunami. It was links to the International Red Cross and shit. Stuff I could act upon, instantly the moment it was shared.

Instead I'm just getting told how horrible this is. And then look, it's even more horrible.

*Which isn't to say that I'm willfully ignorant of what is really going on. It's that it doesn't matter. Consider by analogy that I'm walking through the park and I come across a man pinning down a women and strangling her. She is going blue in the face and is struggling in vain to free herself from his grip. There is no fact in existence that makes what he is doing an acceptable or appropriate response. She may have in her purse a revolver that she just 15 minutes ago used to gun down the man's two children because she didn't like the way he parked his car. She may have been about to turn it on him until he tackled her to the ground. His response is not appropriate, that's the only fact that matters. You don't get to murder people that have wronged you. Not in civil society. Not even in the fits of passion, or rage. 

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