Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Activism Crunch

Honest confession: I'm a green-lover and a poacher/hunter hater. What does that have to do with anything? Everything, given how these things have come to a common point these days. If many critics have their way, the clearer answer to that is slacktivism, or arm chair activism. A bunch of people who don't share these views and some who don't care for energy being spent on them who think we should spend our time "actually doing 'something' about them".

There's so much irony and ignorance in that statement that if it was packed in a grenade and placed at the centre of the earth, the planet would explode with pieces going to the far expanses of a galaxy beyond, and we'd learn so much more than just poking from light years away at them with telescopes, satellites and what not. Hopefully this post will explain why.

News recently has been inundated with outrage over Cecil the lion. Prior to this, for a considerable amount of time, I was subjected to questions that asked me what I was "doing" about the green myself instead of just making a noise about it going away. See. Here's the thing. I wouldn't have to scream and shout and wave my activism all about if the people who I was raising my voice against the actions of didn't do them in the first place.

I'm reminded of a conversation another person of similar mind. Whether it's the forests of Mahan, my own church campus which was wantonly destroyed end-to-end, Lavasa or Cecil (the list is long), the people who wreck the destruction are the people to whom the beauty didn't belong in the first place. As much as a multi-billion corporate honcho wants to take away someone else's forest land for development, he wouldn't dare give up his own for any cause that he'd tag with equal nobility. If his home (and his own) is as precious as a home should be, he would fight for it tooth and nail. He wouldn't need to either with his billions and the pull that they cause. God forbid he stops churning it lest all us poor people lose out on their trickle down effect and wreck us all. He is God and when God speaks we all shut up.

All these homely values go down the drain the moment he has destroy forest land or convert well, balanced urban space into "development" fodder. What he has is the Itchy Hands Effect.It's when you have nothing to and your hands itch and you just gotta, you know? It is caused by the Empty Brain Phenomena. That's when stuff is heaped into our brain that as useless and leaving it empty. Heave a whole bunch of thanks of our inane education system and societal values. Combine that with itchy hands and you've got a recipe for destruction. You may as well hold a grenade in your hands and play with the pin, or carve it for fun, because you're such a dimwit about how grenades work. Basically, wrong person, wrong hands, wrong timing... wrong everything. As Bob Dylan would put it, "there ought to be a law against you coming around."

But, sadly, these mismatches of hands, people and resources  happen way, way, way, way, way too often for any activism to be overrated or underplayed. In fact, that's why we need activism in all kinds—armchair, placard, online, tailing... you name it. The wrong people keep on handling the wrong things oblivious of the Itchy Hands Effect and they ask the right people what they've "done about it" apart from preaching their values down other people's throat. Why would over-dependent industries (and hunting maniacs) cripple entire ecosystems and then say that activism is "lazy". It wouldn't need to exist in the first place without their dimwittedness and their perceived right to touch and "transform" everything they see. They need to go and get their Itchy Hands Effect checked and corrected. Once done, their hands won't be itchy and they won't spurn anything that deserves activism. But, the problem lies deeper. It's a mind problem. Remember the Empty Brain Phenomena? Because of it, they will never, ever get around to understanding this because, well, their brains are empty and they have been fed with too much ego to admit that and quit. They justify it with even more mismatching and mandhandling with empty brain logic so that the precious little nothing in their heads stand is not off-balanced.  
The right people, in these cases, are arguing the opposite—just leave it alone. There's nothing anyone needs to "do" about anything. Corporates, activists, everyone. Even if the activists do whatever it is they're supposed to do about it, that's what they'd do—leave it alone!   

1 comment:

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