There have been some rather disturbing events in Norway as of late. Not wishing to distract from the scale and magnitude of events, nor their geopolitical influence if any (the man appears to be plain deprived of his senses, no religion involved). I will focus instead on how we, supposedly, care.
It is common for my generation to respond to a crisis with a very typical form of gesture. This gesture is held in high regard on the vastness that is the internet. What you do is simply to attach some form of symbolic imagery of the event, and attach it to your profile picture on Facebook. Once this is completed your moral duties have been satisfied and you and others will labour under the aegis that you are a magnanimous and compassionate being. This imagery is usually removed within a week, the time usually allocated for a media event to pass, so that the MSM can spin into frenzy over something new, something which sells and preferably something which is utterly sensationalist to satisfy our fix for human misery. Not our misery of course, but someone else's.
It is a disgusting practise.
It is disgusting because no one really does care, but they want people to think that they do, they want to conjure an idealistic portrait of themselves in the minds of their patrons and friends. The latter will follow suite of course, they will be drawn to this gesture like mosquitos to a fire light. It is like drugs for the self-righteous brigade. For of course were you to point out this hypocrisy, were you to underline the notion that they are reaping the benefits of misery and destruction for their own personal gain, to say just to what extent it is wrong... you are castigated and castrated of any voice and reason you once had.
Challenging the accepted notion of false adolescent compassion is akin to social suicide.
For how could they truly 'care', how could they possibly attach any form of sentiment to people thousands of miles away, people they do not know, never met but briefly on BBC1. It is a common trait amongst traditionalists to highlight the strength of the human spirit in adversity and pain. There might have been true compassion once, a long time ago, when there was more to life than your appearance and what shows you follow on E4.
No, my generation cares so much for the victims in Norway that they place a little norwegian flag in the bottom of their profile picture, let it sit there for about a week, then they revert back to what they had prior to this incident, which they have so cleverly exploited for seven days. They revert back to the time in place where they were comfortable, happy and their conscience was as it is now; untarnished and untroubled by minions of people blown to bloody pieces thousands of miles away in a foreign country which they cannot even place on a map let alone pronounce.
That is the true extent of the human spirit in 2011; sympathy without compassion.
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