2012-03-14

Invisible and Visible Sympathy

Today's blog entry is going to be wordy and long. If you are the sort of person who hates reading and would rather be looking at pictures, then well... if you scroll down a little there is a photo of me with hipster glasses photoshopped on me. Also, I'd advise you to not procreate.

So... Can you guess the topic yet from the title? It's about everyone's favourite Ugandan evil warlord of the moment, KONY!!! STOPKONY2012ASIFITCANBEANYOTHERYEAR!!111

Nah, I'm not gonna be one of those fucktards talking about how awful he is... Or how it is all a scam (well maybe just a bit of that). In fact, this entry isn't even going to be focused on him at all, but he is the trigger for this post.

A few days ago I got very irritated by Invisible Children's campaign to make Joseph Kony as famous as possible so that somehow he will be arrested. I'm not too sure about the details of the campaign, because I simply was not interested enough to bother to find out more.

But to my annoyance, spammed everywhere on every social media possible were assholes urging me to spread the word about Invisible Children (hereby known as IC) to my followers.

It was as if social media caught on a up-you-own-arse infestation of moral policing, and it was spreading, its pompous self righteousness at every corner, judging those who were not doing their part in stopping Kony. HOW DARE THEY BE SO APATHETIC AND CRUEL, UNLIKE ME!! *rolls eyes*

It was on my facebook fanpage's wall. It was on my twitter replies. Every celebrity I followed were yabbering about it (except Ricky Gervais). It appeared on blog comments when the entries are not related to Kony at all. It was on formspring. It was on youtube, spamming the comments to irrelevant videos of fucking MUSIC I WAS LISTENING TO. And all the people spamming where smelling their assholes in unison, thinking how it smells like justice and peonies. I was goaded beyond tolerance.

So I went onto Twitter to rant.

In case you are one of those people who are very slow to adopt social media or don't follow me (in that case fuck you), I tweeted that I don't give a shit about Kony and that I refuse to spread awareness about him... And how I'd rather spread my legs for a diseased clown.

On hindsight I probably shouldn't have put that image into anybody's mind. I'm sorry about that. But it is hard to pun on "spread".

I then said that I didn't even bother to watch the stupid video. That I choose to remain ignorant of it.

I lied. I actually watched the video. By "watched" I mean I clicked onto the links a hundred people posted to me, and I let the video run for about 2 whole mins. I couldn't continue watching it. I simply, simply couldn't. The video was too up-its-own-arse and almost made me vomit. And as it is I already didn't like the campaign due to the spam.

But anyway, after my little rant on twitter came a tidal wave of fury like I've never seen before. The last time I got so many replies was when I dyed my hair pink which for some reason made people feel like they need to let me know what they think of it.

I couldn't even finish reading the replies because they came in so fast. Most of them were from people insulting me. The most common word used was "ignorant". And came cruel, heartless, ugly, bitch, stupid etc etc. Some people used to like me and said they are very disappointed. Some asked me why I have 96,000 followers and can't just do my part to help when I have so much influence.

I had about 100 people unfollow me, which frankly I think is less than what I expected. 2 days later I gained back about 300 so that's ok lol.

So that's the background story. And from here on I'm gonna try to piece together my thoughts on this. It's pretty jumbled up in my brain now on so pardon me if I get confusing.

1) HEARTLESSNESS

Am I a heartless, cruel person? This is a question I've asked myself many times.

Afterall, it makes me very upset to see people torture little animals. I cried during UP just like everyone else. I don't like seeing beggers in the streets with bedraggled clothes and missing limbs. I hate seeing old people be sad. I always buy tissues from blind people selling them.

All these are pretty normal, right? I'm a normal person?

But yet, being a relatively (relative to the world) well-off person living in a first world city, I am faced with the dilemma all of us are facing:

HOW MUCH SHOULD WE GIVE?

So many parts of the world is living in poverty. They are suffering, not knowing where their next food source is coming from, while we are sitting with our iProducts in our aircon-ed rooms, playing Draw Something, thinking we should get a stylus to draw better.

Surely we should give up all our material comfort and go help them?

Have you given thought to this? How much sacrifice must you make before you placate the guilt at the bottom of your heart, and how much before you present to the world an image that you are not an asshole?

As a person with power, influence and a public image, I've thought about this probably more than you have. And I've been burdened with an additional responsibility, because I can "spread awareness". If you don't do your part for IC, nobody cares because you have 20 twitter followers. But if I don't, I'm a selfish, heartless bitch whom you wish will drop dead and die.

Unlike most people who are still struggling with their dilemma of how much to give, I've made my decision, and I'm sticking to it.

Here it is: NONE.


2) WHY???

Here's one reason: I simply am not passionate about anything enough.

Sure, I feel sad about orphans. I would very much like to help bears who are in pain, with tubes stuck in them for their bile.

I won't say I can't help. In fact, I sometimes donate too, especially when it's easy to donate (ie blind tissue sellers).

But usually the moment I feel sympathetic enough to help is at the very moment when my heartstrings are tugged.

And one day later what am I doing? I'm going about fussing with my own business. I'm thinking... How much can I spare for bears? Maybe $400? I could spare that...

But then I'm thinking... Why am I helping bears?

My own grandma is working as a cleaner lady. I love her very much and she says her knees are hurting her. I should give her my $400 instead, monthly, so she won't have to work anymore. But I already give my grandparents a lot of money everytime I see them, as much as I can spare, so... none for bears?

And then I'm thinking... My mom works so hard. She's still paying for my brother's pocket money because my brother is in the army. Should I give my brother that money?

What happens in the end? My passion for my loved ones trumps those of charities and misfortunes that happen millions of miles away. Bears don't concern me. My grandma does.

I'm not saying this sort of attitude is right. But we are human afterall, and we cannot help what we love and care for, and some we care for more than others. Most of all, we care for ourselves.

Maybe one day, if I have a loved one who falls ill due to a certain type of cancer, I might find myself donating to the research for that cancer. I might find enough passion for it. But right now... Nothing.

And then you ask... "Nobody is asking you to donate $400!! Why can't you give just $10? Every single bit helps."

Well then let me reply you... I care about so many sufferings, which one should I give $10 for?  Should it be for pediatric cancer research, for cancer on kids is surely one of the saddest things to happen to anyone? Or for the starving in Somalia? No, I'd rather give $410 to my grandma.

But this is not about which charity to donate to. Or which 3rd world country you should run off to to film a documentary.

This is about making peace with yourself, and only you yourself can decide on this.

I'm not saying I give all my excess money to my loved ones who needs them. God knows I spend on myself and buy stupid Liz Lisa shit just because it makes me happy. Just thinking about this makes me feel guilty.

It took me a while, and this is really hard, but finally I admitted it:


I AM SELFISH, AND I AM OKAY WITH THAT.

The only difference between me and the most of the world is that they have not come to terms with that.

Once others admit this to themselves, you will stop seeing self righteous assholes talk about the 1% or talk about how others are heartless when they themselves are clearly not stretching themselves to the maximum.

As a person I aim to be happy. I want to be happy the best I can. My motivation for making money is my happiness. So I try to make those around me happy, which in turn makes me happy.

I cannot help the rest of the world with their suffering. No matter how much I help there STILL IS SUFFERING. So I don't.  I try not to think about the bears or the orphans or the cancer-stricken children.

Call me selfish, but most people live their lives like that.

That's how we normalise ourselves.

Those most sensitive often find that the world is too cruel a place to live in, and they end their lives. Although some of you would love to see me end my life, I'm not gonna do that. I'm gonna live for a long, long time, making you uncomfortable with my words until you admit that I make sense.

But of course, there are people who live their whole lives for the suffering of others. These people are amazing. Mother Teresa, I presume (I don't know much about her). Some people live their entire lives taking care of their sickly parents, or sickly children. They spare no expense on making themselves happy. I really respect these people.

Only such selfless people ever have the rights to insult me for my moral decisions. But would they do something like that? No. Because when you are so focused and passionate, I doubt you have time to insult others. That same time wasted to type a nasty comment to me can be used to accompany a dying patient during his last moments.

"Alright Xiaxue," you sigh, "I get it you don't want to donate... But what about helping to spread awareness so others can donate/help?"


3) WHY I DON'T TELL OTHERS WHAT TO DO

Firstly, I don't think it is right when people tell others what to do or how to behave. Unless they are their bosses or parents. Or when the person's action directly affects them.

I will NOT tell people to donate to charity because I feel it is not in my place to do so.

Who am I to tell people to what to do when here I am in my Princess room and my $500 bunny?? What kind of asshole takes the easy way out to act kindly and just "spread awareness" instead of doing real sacrifices... while expecting others to do the shit work?

Sure, it will make it seem to people that I care and that I am kind. Sure, it will make me feel less guilty about being so fortunate that one of the hardest challenges in my life is overeating when half of the world is undereating.

But will I do that just for appearances? No. I already said I've come to terms with who I am. Whether you like this or not that's your business.

And besides, it's about the principles:


4) CREATING AWARENESS = SLACKTIVISM

I detest slacktivism. It is DISGUSTING. What is it? Let me quote wiki:

..."feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. Slacktivist activities include signing Internet petitions, joining a community organization without contributing to the organization's efforts, copying and pasting of Social Network statuses or messages or altering one's personal data or avatar on social network services.

Sounds familiar? Guilty of being a slacktivist? Don't be, most of us are. Except me of course because I'm so enlightened.  Ahem.

I'm not going to act all high and mighty just because I fucking "spread awareness". If I truly wanted to help I'd do a lot more than just tweet about an issue. Sure, the world isn't split into black and white and help is still help regardless of the degree.

But I'm just saying... I detest slacktivism so I refuse to participate in it.




5) SO YOU THINK NO ONE SHOULD HELP ANYONE?

To a certain extent... Yes. But mostly, my answer to that is No.

For example, if we see a man trying to rape a little girl on the streets, do we help her by stopping him? Yes!! Of course!

But should America step in and give money to poverty-stricken countries? No.

America should mind its own business and take care of its own debts. How do I come to this conclusion of who to help?

I think, in general, you help first those closest to yourself.

You owe loan sharks money? Help yourself first. Have a loved one who is not doing so well? Fix that. Only try to solve world problems when you have helped everyone around you.

Remember, helping others should not be for assuaging your guilt at being self-sufficient.

It should stem from a genuine want to see them do better, and it's about MAKING YOUR HELP COUNT. You helping a poor relative financially is going to do more for that relative than donating through a charity to Somalia.

So... Should you not help/donate to *insert charity*? That's not what I'm saying. It's your money, your time, your prerogative. Do whatever you want if it makes you feel better and happier! I'm sure donating to your favourite foundation brings you the same joy as buying a new gadget, so do whatever pleases you. As I said, I don't tell people what to do - I'm just giving you my viewpoint.

In that case nobody will help the poor Africans!! It is going to sound cruel, but Africa needs to help itself. Sometimes I think... Why give them vaccines when they are giving birth to 10 babies per household despite having no food? I cannot believe I just typed that. I'm going to hell. But I'm just saying, sometimes we create more problems by trying to help. Maybe Nature is solving her own problems, and we are standing in her way.

Another prime example - donations from wealthier countries to poor ones have been proven to be detrimental. Instead of helping the needy there, warlords seize the processions and sell them. Or people get dependent on free supplies, refusing to work. The country, in turn, cannot progress.

If you are thinking that if everyone thinks like me then the world is going to be fucking doomed... Well don't worry. Firstly, I highly doubt most people are as rational as me. Or cruel, if you wish to call it that.

Secondly...


6) THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN

For years and years we have been taught about how fortunate we are, living in cities with clean water and all the food we can eat. And in contrast, how poorly some parts of the world is doing.

In time we have all developed "the white man's burden", a phrase used to describe how modern society looks upon developing countries with guilt and a creepy need to be the glorious heroes to save them.

We presume that without our help, they are surely doomed. They cannot possibly help themselves, and we cannot stand idly by. We presume they all want lives like ours, and they must all want to have civilised society like us.

I say "we" despite not being white because I believe Singaporeans are like that too, although we definitely have less of this complex than Americans. I don't blame the Americans, it is their media which made them this way... Shows like Oprah, for example.

So yes. Help is always given to those we assume needs help, whether they asked for it or not.

Even Invisible Children was founded based on this disgusting complex. 3 students who went to Sudan not because they heard of Kony and wished to fight his terror, but to FIND something tragic to film a video on. Yucks.


Ok I know it's unfair to judge them based on their looks but seriously?!?!?!?! Look at these douchebags and their self-satisfied smirks wtf. I bet they wank at night thinking about how AWESOME they are saving those poor children. Ok I'm just being emotional here. Let's move on.



7) HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF?

I know I APPEAR to be more cold-hearted than most.

But the fact is, perhaps many people give less of a shit about the less fortunate than me... It's just that the care more about how people perceive THEM.

*Shrugs*

I live with myself because I tell myself that I don't contribute to most of the problems. I don't try to make the starving children hungrier. I didn't make a tsunami happen. I don't buy bear bile.

But the one thing that's still causing me a bit of a moral struggle is something I do on a daily basis: Eat Meat.

I know eating meat is cruel. And worse, I am actively contributing to it. People who bleat about killing a cow in a "humane" way are just making excuses for themselves. No cow ever grew up and thought, "Hey I'd like to die with a spike through my neck!"

I've never watched them before, but I heard slaughterhouse videos are a horrorfest and that animals squirm and struggle, loudly, before they die. It isn't humane. We try to be as humane as we can be to curb the guilt, but it ain't fooling no one.

Sure, people also say it's natural to for humans to eat animals... It's part of the food chain. Just because it is natural doesn't make it right. Animals rape each other all the time... Doesn't make it right for humans to also do that.

But...

It is so bloody inconvenient to be a vegetarian. I love the taste of meat. And then... It is also true that if you are vegetarian, the grains/fruits you eat are harvested by farmers who also kill bunnies, raccoons etc... Either way animals die from human actions no matter what I eat, unless I grow my own fucking trees. And I'm not going to do that.

So I live with eating meat. Luckily for me, most of the world shares this guilt with me, so... Meh.

But that's not to say vegetarians have the rights to judge anyone when their meal choice also kills animals.

So here's the relevance to this entry... If I ever wish to help some sort of world crisis I'd try to reduce the suffering of animals by not eating meat. But I am not even willing to do that. Like I said, I'm a selfish person.

This is why I also never talk about animal cruelty issues like foie gras (I just ate that today wtf) or people torturing kittens/puppies.

I feel I have no rights to do it. I know you are thinking... Surely there is a difference between torturing an animal for fun and eating an animal for food?

There is... The difference is your convenience.

Both are cruel. Both are not necessary for survival. Both are done for "fun". The only difference is that eating a good piece of steak is a "fun" that everyone agrees upon... Seeing a kitten get squashed underneath a heel is not a "fun" that most people agree on, but I'm sure the sicko doing it still enjoys himself.

What rights do you have to want to put the kitten-tormenting guy into jail when you are basically committing the same crime... Killing animals, whether directly or indirectly? What, just because you are slightly guilty about eating your steak you are better than he is? Maybe he feels slightly guilty too!!

I liken it to a molester who is criticising a rapist... Essentially, both are doing bad things to other people, just that one perceives himself to be more... socially acceptable.

And therefore... I don't judge others their selfishness. Most people don't have the rights to do it, and those who bleat the loudest are the most hypocritical. They possibly feel so guilty about their own selfishness that they feel the need to overcompensate... By pretending to put on a front to show the world they care - by putting others down.

Well just calling someone else heartless does not make you kind - it is your actions that will show it.

But are you so saintly, really? Do you do anything to make yourself happy that doesn't involve making anyone else happy? If the answer is yes, like buying yourself an iPhone for example... Well, congratulations, you are as selfish as the rest of us.


*****************

Phew... What a long entry! So there it is... Why I don't give a shit about Kony. Why I chose to be ignorant about him. Quoting Dumbledore, "Frankly, I can think of a whole host of other things I could be doing."

He is just another problem in this world that cannot be solved.

I didn't give a shit before I knew that Kony is no longer even in Uganda. Now that I know IC happened years too late, I care even less. What a fucking waste of time, trying to find him to kill him. It's so... pointless. It's like reopening the case of Jack the Ripper 10 years after he committed his last murder and trying to find him to kill him.

WHAT IS THE POINT? Not saying Kony should get away scotfree, but the victims' families will seek revenge upon him. There is absolutely no need for the rest of the world to get involved, especially not the American army.



I'm not trying to be racist but how many of you have seen his photo and can now identify him among other Ugandans? He looks so generic, and he probably looks way different now. Why waste time trying to find him and kill him for crimes committed long ago when efforts could be put into finding terrorists who are STILL killing people?!

WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING BILE-BLEEDING BEARS AND THE CANCER CHILDREN?

I personally think people should also put money into research for making women be born without armpit hair and pubes.

FFS get your priorities straight people.

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