Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Posts That Got Away; or, ...On the Bright Side

What better way to acknowledge how truly awful a week this has been than to try to start a meme asking people to describe the posts they chose not to write out of respect for the recent dead?

In the interests of full disclosure, here are the posts the world was spared from reading (or, more accurately, ignoring as usual) from me at Mostly Harmless:

  • an apology/confession to the LPGA professionals whom I may have insulted on Monday, detailing my experiences playing high-stakes golf in terrible weather conditions, complete with embarrassing results thereof;
  • continuing installments in Mostly Harmless's YouTubeocalypse;
  • more musume-related cutesiness, complete with a report on the start of the new academic year in onechan's yochien;
  • a plug for my then-forthcoming-but-now-who-knows-when second WAAGNFNP post;
  • a reflection on my capacity to compartmentalize, starting with my decision to show ultra-violent clips from Kill Bill, Volume I in my Representing Japan class the afternoon after I first heard about the Virginia Tech killings and closing with the contrast between my reactions and those of my more-innocent-than-I-imagined 18-year-olds to the clips;
  • a parody of the supposed dangerality of English majors, irresponsibility of Creative Writing professors, and influences of video games--that is, of the response of some in the U.S. to the shootings at VA Tech, especially when contrasted with those of many in Japan following the assassination of the mayor of Nagasaki this week.

Don't you feel just a little bit better knowing that these posts went unwritten?

[Update 4/20/07: Check out Raincoaster's response to the question. Thanks for going far beyond what I was hoping for!]


Anonymous said...

I submitted this to reddit; they're pretty thoughtful over there, and such a compelling question deserves a wide audience.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

As I wrote in my comment on Reddit, why are we changing our behavior because of the deaths at Virginia Tech, when innocent people all over the world died on that same day, and on all the days before that?

People are dying every day from violence, hunger, and accidents. To their families, it's a tragedy too.

Anonymous said...

So, you're saying that awareness of an issue that we mostly ignore is tawdry, somehow, and we should go back to not caring? Because I wouldn't devalue anything which shocked us into the realization of the loss to the world when even a single human life is lost; obviously you are different. Congratulations, you must be a very special person.

Anonymous said...

The assumption that expression of sympathy for one tragedy means, by definition, that one has none for any others is bigoted in the extreme and highly inaccurate, as a brief tour around the blogosphere would have shown you.

Anonymous said...

--a post proposed on this day in history, the shot heard round the world, the battle of Lexington and Concord, when a few merchant-farmer types decided that they were just sick and tired of being lorded over by extreme idiots: Gonzales, Cheney, Bush, et al.... (it is almost me wittle bwothers 58th birthday).

--a thought about how crass and careless some people are when they don't really comprehend what someone else was saying (no wait that just came to me from above).

--a post concerning the failure of psychos to take out better targets that could quite possibly make a difference. Why do they kill the ineffective??(okay, this one is supremely snarky but it is something i always think about after incidents such as this). {consider the train stations in London and Madrid versus the WTC and Pentagon; if the 9/11 guys had dropped those planes on Tampa or New Orleans, what then?}

The Constructivist said...

Look, AG, it is a moral failure of mine that the VA Tech deaths hit me harder personally than, say, the much greater number of deaths in Iraq almost every day that I am entirely complicit in, having failed to stop my government from its invasion of Iraq in the first place and not having done nearly enough since then to end the occupation.

But it is true. So I thought I'd acknowledge that. See my post on liberal guilt and conservative paranoia and my reflections on Nagasaki for somewhat more thoughtful responses to this kind of complicity. Or check out my more serious blog, Citizen of Somewhere Else.

But if you'll look at my first sentence again, I didn't limit the "recent dead" to any geographical area in particular, and there was more than a touch of irony in its "start a meme to acknowledge catastrophe" more-than-rhetorical question. In fact, you could go so far as to say that it was challenging readers to come up with their own way of acknowledging their dead this week.

Those who want to share brief descriptions of what they didn't write this week should feel free to do so--and the rest of us shouldn't assume that's the only way they chose to show "respect for the recent dead" in their lives. Obviously participating in a meme is a small and insignificant way of doing it--that's part of the point of the post. But it is better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

I was going to do a post on Okinawa & the bomb etc. over at waagnfnp ... oh wait, nevermind.