Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kony 2012, Syria, and Socrates

I did not get sucked into the Kony 2012 flutter, but only because I'm already neck-deep in Occupy and there are only so many things a person can be passionate about. Plus I was kind of overwhelmed by the glitzy website, knew watching the movie would make me cry, and just didn't feel like being emotionally manipulated that night.

By the next morning, cracks began to appear in the Invisible Children PR machine...

...But I've totally gotten suckered in before. Take Syria, where real people are really dying and being mutilated for what very well may be a manufactured war. Initially all I had were the frightened and passionate tweets from within Homs, but when I asked the Syrian mom who waits after school for her kids with me, she said that everyone in Syria loved Assad and Homs was the only city who didn't like him. Hrm.

Al Jazeera and Russia Today have both covered Occupy and related issues more accurately than, say, The New York Times, so I have considered them possibly trustworthy sources of information.

Russia Today (sympathetic to Assad) just (? I only just heard about it, anyway) announced that key figures within Al Jazeera were resigning over the way Al Jazeera (sympathetic to Homs) had been framing the news-- not allowing them to show footage of armed Homs people attacking the government's armies, for instance. (I guess in favor of just showing the footage of women and children wounded...)

You know what? I have no idea. Everyone is playing me like a pawn or a guitar. Make the white woman cry and you get all the gun money you want.

And apparently, it's my job to single-handedly cut through the agendas, the conspiracies, the ugliness and the hope and suss out what the Truth is? What the Right and Good course of action is?

When all I have access to are post-modern lies upon lies upon stories?

I was feeling grumpy about this last night. I really was.

I tend to go all zen and chop carrots, carry soup when things get mentally tense like this, but I also worry that I'm copping out.

If I *don't* do something, say something, is my silence consent?

Do I become the abuser by not stepping up for the abused?

It's very troubling.

For a different project (March 25th! March 25th! Ask me about March 25th!), I started looking up quotes by Greek philosophers. Socrates caught my attention: "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."

That was rather comforting: If one of the greatest ancient philosophers was ok with not knowing, maybe I can be, too.

So... you can ask me about Kony 2012, you can ask me about Syria. I don't know. I think bread not bombs in general, but I don't know enough about the particulars. (Ask me about March 25th, instead.)

...In the meantime, I'm going to try and be ok with living in the cloud of unknowing, and still get up, do the dishes, feed my family, and protest my own government... 
I think that is a full day, don't you?

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