I know I shouldn't let this kind of thing annoy me.
I found this comment posted over on Ka's blog this evening:
"Are you for real? Do you live in a cave? How could any human being with an ounce of awareness (other than self-awareness, which you seem to posess in spades) post such a self-serving, egocentric, woe-is-me blog entry at this particular moment in history? This is a personal blog, not one devoted to world events, fine. You don't need to talk about Katrina, but can you not have the decency to stop obsessing about yourself for even a moment? Many individuals and groups have chosen to observe moments of silence as the situation unfolds. If you believe your to be the only suffering in the world that's fine, but can you not at least have the decency to remain silent about it for even a moment? You seem to consider yourself a well-educated urban sophisticate poised to inherit the earth (once the big bad world stops being so mean to you). It sickening to consider the possibility that you may be right.
That makes me so angry. Do this person have no sense of the irony in what they're saying? It's as if Americans are totally unaware that bad shit has been happening in the rest of the world since the dawn of time. Until it happens to the USA, it may as well not have happened at all. It's like there was no World War I until the Lusitania got torpedoed, and no World War II until Pearl Harbour was bombed. No tragedy until it affects Americans.
It's the sheer brass neck and pig-headed ignorance in daring to use words like "self-serving" and "egocentric", and of accusing somebody of believing "yours to be the only suffering in the world". How could those words not be applied many hundreds of times over to the USA? It's as if nothing else bad has happened anywhere else in the world this week. Maybe I dreamed that stampede in Iraq on Wednesday that saw 960 people dead. Perhaps I didn't see that chilling message from beyond the grave from one of the London suicide bombers. Maybe thousands of Africans didn't die of starvation or from easily treatable diseases..... I could go on and on. Nobody gives a shit about that though, right? That happened somewhere else. This has happened to US, and how DARE the rest of the world not stop what it's doing and help us.
I'm not a believer in karma, and I have no wish to make light of the human tragedy that is unfolding in the wake of Katrina. It's been like watching something from 'The Lord of the Flies', and nobody in the modern world should have to deal with this kind of tragedy. But that's just it isn't it: NOBODY should have to deal with it. That means Americans, of course it does, but is also means Iraqis, Palestinians, Africans, Israelis, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Atheists, white people, black people, brown people, yellow people.... blue people. Whoever. Why be selective in our grief, outrage and with our help?
Needless to say, our commentator is anonymous. No doubt they've been pasting that remark on every blog they have come across this evening. It's probably their idea of a contribution. I probably shouldn't let it annoy me, after all, the comment wasn't even left here, and I know it's probably just the ignorant rantings of an isolated idiot, and not representative of what most sensible Americans think.
But dammit....it does.