I just got an email from Nordstroms Rack (for non-Americans, this is a budget clothing store that sells the overstock from the fancier Nordstroms) about how they feel about the events in America today and so on and so forth. If a clothing store is bothering to tell me about their feelings, it seems odd that this personal blog space where we all share Big Thoughts is not addressing it at all. So I am going to put up this one post explaining my thinking, and then we are going to go back to usual programming.
I’m not changing my blog programming at all this week, despite the fact that my country and to a lessor extent the world is going through a massive social upheaval in response to unspeakable tragedies and injustice.
- I know my blog community. I know you are good people. I know that you do not need to come here to be reminded of the problems of the world, you are already working all day every day to fix those problems. This is already a self-selected community of progressive thinkers, there are no minds here that need to be changed or opened.
- The reason this community is like this is because much of my content is based on opening minds and confronting systemic injustices. I’m not doing a post about the issues of racism in America today, but I am doing a post about English language speakers in India which challenges us to think beyond stereotypes and look at systemic forces interacting with individual cases. My regular programming is already trying to encourage open thinking and confronting of privilage.
- For myself, and I suspect many people in this blog community, it is less a question of raising awareness of the pain around us and more a question of finding a way to survive the enormous pain we feel. If reading a lighthearted post about celebrities gives us the 10 minute respite from grief that allows us to get out of bed in the morning, that is a good thing. If taking a moment to intellectually consider social issues of another culture gives us the tools to turn around and intellectually look at the issues of our culture and find a solution beyond screaming into the void, that is a good thing.
I make this kind of decision on a case by case basis. If I feel there is something I can encourage everyone to actually DO (register to vote, donate to a particular group, whatever), I will put up a post about it. If I feel that there is a need to be public in my activism, so that I stand with an unpopular opinion, I will do it as well. In this case, I don’t think there is one thing I can tell you to do, you do what you want to do. And I don’t think I need to be public about my activism, I would think that the issues we face today are so black and white that there is clearly only one side to be on, it is pure egotism to try to gain credit for being on the “right” side.
So, no changes at DCIB. Expect the same mix of fun celebrity gossip, random thought posts on Big Ideas, reviews of films with a sociological bent, and the weekly fun Friday WatchAlong. I know what is happening outside of our virtual walls, you do to, but this is a safe space where we can all breath for a moment.
Now let’s be silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to remember someone who could not breath.