Monday, November 16, 2015

In The News ...

... and how we react to it.

Everyone will have heard about what happened in Paris, at least if you've been near a Western news agency lately. I'm not going to talk about that though (much), you can hear much more informed (hopefully!) info about it from elsewhere. I just get my info from the same places as I expect you do.

No - what I do want to talk about is people's reactions to it.

Shortly after the event, people started altering their online avatar pics to overlay a French Tricolor flag on top of their normal avatar. I did it too. It's my quiet way of showing solidarity with the people inflicted with a shocking event.

Not too long after that, we see people popping out of the woodwork (or their personal crevices) to criticise those people overlaying the tricolor. Why didn't we show the Lebanese tree ? Why didn't we do something for the Russian airliner or the Malaysian airliners ? How about the Japanese tsunami or the massacre in Kenya which I've just found it very tough to find on BBC news.

These people were churlish enough to criticise those who did not react to every single tragedy, while paying no respects of their own. It reminds me of what someone did near the end of the London Olympics. He posted something (and that I remember shows how appalling I thought it was) along the lines of :

"Go Team GB, please ... go"

As in, he was sick of everyone else joining in with that nationwide excitement over the Olympics. A completely different way of feeling but consistent with people criticising those caught up in the moment. That statement had me a click away from banishing him from my friends list.

We do need to keep looking outside of our own existences at the world around us. I keep a fairly watchful eye on the news, events in other countries affect us in very subtle or very overt ways.

What I don't agree with is the overt cause pushing that we see from a lot of people. However I will make my own quiet gestures when I feel the need. That I don't do that for the people in Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Russia, Malaysia and so on is no indication that I care less about them. But at the same time, I won't follow each and every cause with a token gesture. To criticise those who give the occasional gesture ? Churlish as I've mentioned before. This isn't about those who don't make the gesture, not everyone is glued to social media and not everyone has access to it 100% of the time. It's about the ones who attack the people showing support.

So why France ? Why this time ? Why was this one closer than the rest ?

It was more immediate, the situation was unfolding in front of our eyes on Friday night and we knew exactly what was going on. It took a while for the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine and we still don't know what happened to the Malaysian airliner over the Southern oceans. Similar for the Russian airliner over Sinai. That uncertainty makes us unsure how to react.

It was closer. A colleague had been in Paris the day before (he's ok) and my sister and her bloke may well have been in Paris this weekend. People that close were nearly caught up in this event.

And that's the big reason why I reacted. And I will react again at a future event. You'll see it when it happens. If I'd been home with access to GIMP and the source file, I'd have done a message dwagon like the Je Suis Charlie single tear dwagon this time with the Eiffel Peace symbol.

A message of quiet support should not be criticised. If you need a little help and people show that quiet support, how will you feel if people bash those who are holding out that helping hand ?

Remember others. Keep the peace. Spread the love. Help people who need it.

And talking of love ... Also this weekend ... I got slurped ...
I was off to see the mum and dad this weekend. And Ben the Staffy. He is the epitome of love in a canine shell. He'll check you out and have a sniff and a lick. He'll take the cues from mum and dad as to whether a visitor is ok. He'll give a little love and accept a little love back in the form of snuggles, strokes and belly rubs.

He's a typical Staffy.
He still struggles with that poorly paw;
But that doesn't stop him getting excited whenever it comes to meat carving and meat scraps time. There he is waiting intently but patiently with a full body wag of the tail. It's great when a dog does that and it's great to see a dog doing the full body tail wag.
Excitement does get the better of him though, as seen by all 4 paws off the ground and bouncing out of shot.
It does tire him out though. Ben's an old dog now and a little bit of bouncing is followed by zzzz's. Although in the pic above, the grand prix "racing" was on the telly and Ben's zzzz's there are an accurate reflection of how interesting the racing was. He never was one for chasing cars.

Ok - I better close up now !

Great weekend, coloured by what happened in Paris and various churlish people's reactions to how various people showed their support for those left behind.

But you then look back to That Face and the love embodied on those 4 paws.

Be more dog. But I would warn you against coming up to random strangers who walk past and giving them a slurp. Dogs can get away with that whereas it tends to lead to Huggy Jackets for us.

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