Just to be Clear

#MeriamIbrahim = Courageous use of social media to protest an obvious evil and advocate an obvious good.

#bringbackourgirls = Stupid morally preening narcissistic slacktivism.

Why? Because the former is approved by Manufacturers of Thought in the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism and the latter is condemned by those same Manufacturers of Thought (due to ritual impurity from contact with Michelle Obama) and a large percentage of consumers of that Manufactured Thought do as they are told and mutually reinforce one another while ostracizing those who notice the cognitive dissonance.

If, however, you think with the Church and not with tribal allegiances, it is obvious that both causes have merit and that it does not matter that the latter happens to have been picked up in liberal circles. You rejoice that people in liberal circles are protesting an obvious evil and advocating an obvious good and don’t worry about who gets the credit.

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  • Danny Getchell

    Both causes are equally valid. However, the “look at me, I’m caring over here!!!” world of hashtag activism is equally pointless on behalf of each.

    • BHG

      All motives are mixed in this world, at least from where I sit.

    • captcrisis

      Tell that to Michelle Obama, who successfully raised public consciousness, and tell that to the Vatican, which retweeted her.

      • Danny Getchell

        “Public consciousness”, and a buck, can still get you a cup of coffee at many restaurants.

        • HornOrSilk

          Same with writing a comment in the comments section of a blog with a dollar.

    • The easy solution is just not to look at them. Who cares what Sean Penn is posing for?

  • Dave G.

    I guess to me it’s fair to ask about the whole Tweeting generation and how it fits into things. Is it good, not good, partially good?It’s like some years ago when you wrote a post about the whole Ribbon thing. Wear a ribbon for awareness. My sister is a cancer survivor, and I never thought much about it. I admit I wasn’t thrilled when I saw your post as a smack down of that, but once I read the post, I could see what you were saying. Same here. Assuming everything isn’t about tribalism, there might be some things worth pondering as we think about how this new approach to things can be used, misused or even abused.

  • #AnneCoulterIsTheWorstThingToHappenToTheConservativeMovement

    • Newp Ort

      Reap what you sow? I like Anne Coulter. I find all her messages abhorrent, but I think it’s a bit, a sort of sub rosa Colbert. She is one of the greatest trolls ever.

  • MarylandBill

    While I think the attacks on the #bringbackourgirls is misguided, I think to a certain extent a lot of the outrage was the idea that most effective action to come out of the White House regarding this was the First Lady’s picture.

  • AquinasMan

    I think it’s more discomforting to think it requires a “hashtag” campaign to whip up outrage at events that should repulse every human being without a second thought. It’s like holding up the “Applause” sign at a television taping. What a strange, strange world it’s become.

    • HornOrSilk

      Well, often we don’t know what is going on in the world, and such campaigns make us aware. And with more awareness, more people can think of solutions.

      • AquinasMan

        i agree in principal. And in the spirit of that principal, we need to see campaigns like #PersecutedCatholicsinChina, or, #giveusbackourChineseBishops

        I would think the Vatican, which thinks enough of this method to re-tweet Michelle Obama, would take advantage of its apparent value and effectiveness in raising awareness of persecution of the Church across the globe.

    • chezami

      News tends to be reported when it reaches the ears of media. Stuff in Africa is typically underreported since its in Africa. Social media is changing that dynamic, which is good. This campaign started with Nigerian mothers, not with the Obamas.

  • LFM

    Of course I think both causes have merit. The girls, however, were abducted by an outlaw group that is notorious for its contempt for Western public opinion and might well respond to the tweet campaign by injuring the girls further just to prove its indifference to such tactics. Rescuing those girls will probably require military action and stealth, while the hash tag business cannot do much good and might even do harm. Sudan, however, is a state with a stake in rebuilding its international image, and might conceivably respond to public pressure to release the woman, although I am inclined to doubt it. Prayer, perhaps, is all that will work in her case.

  • Eve Fisher

    Amen. I’ve heard some conservatives argue that Boko Haram just laughs at our tweets – and they may – but then I’m sure that Bull Connor and George Wallace had a good chuckle over the sit-ins of 1964. Basically, who cares what the perpetrators of evil think? Let them laugh their heads off. Almost all real, significant, systemic change has come NOT via military action or violence but from accumulating non-violent, prayerful thoughts, words and deeds (some of them very trivial, very minor), in the face of ridicule and contempt.

    • LFM

      “Bull Connor and George Wallace had a good chuckle over the sit-ins of 1964.” I don’t doubt that you’re right, but their power to punish their critics was to some degree at least restrained by the rule of law. They could use dogs and fire hoses on protestors but not torture them, or not without great caution. They could jail protestors but not abduct them nor sell them into slavery. While Boko Haram cannot punish its Western critics directly, it can punish the Nigerian school girls and other random Nigerians who displease them, whose living conditions are very different from ours and even from those which prevailed in the US in 1954-64. I hope the bring-back-our-girls tweets don’t do any harm, but I fear that they might.

  • Mariana Baca

    Which is not surprising, almost all public figures with online public presence prefer Twitter.

  • Mariana Baca

    The problem is that everyone knows Colbert is joking, but except for her fans, most people think Coulter is dead serious. It is not a good joke people aren’t in on it.