Sunday, November 15, 2015

Oh, Paris.

To the sanctimonious faultfinders on my timelines who would deny me the right to be outraged by the Paris massacres on the grounds that I am not equally outraged by recent massacres in the Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Kenya: by all means go ahead and refuse to change your own profile picture — nobody cares, really, it's only a tiny gesture of solidarity — but please don't lecture me on how I didn't know about the atrocities elsewhere (I did), on how I have been manipulated by the media (I haven't) and how I have no right to be outraged by Paris because I didn't care about the deaths elsewhere (I did). By all means draw our attention to other tragedies, but spare us the conclusion that if we can't treat them all equally we shouldn't lament any of them. It is a natural and human reaction to be affected most acutely by the tragedies closest to us; the tragedies that we might actually be able to do something about. And if you deny that, if rather than express any compassion of your own, you prefer to assert your own superior blanket outrage by condemning the apparent hypocrisy in my more calibrated reaction, then you my Facebook friend are not the person I took you for.