It is hard to believe that any one person can be up in arms against social injustice, wherever it may be happening, all of their time, with complete sincerity. Individual spheres of concern stop applying beyond a certain radii; within this range, there might be something akin to genuine empathy for improving one’s immediate surroundings. Your environment shapes who you are, and it is only natural to be actively involved in its betterment, for your own sake and for the sake of others with whom you have developed communal relations through history and a shared heritage. But go past that point, and what is left? An all-encompassing quest for truth and justice in the abstract? An abiding need to create a global utopia where all men are happy and free of pain? When I see the regular Facebook junkie in far-flung lands posting with great moral indignation stories about Donald Trump’s depredations, Black Lives Matter, Australia’s offshore detention policies, and rhino horn trafficking in South Africa, all in the same breath, I wonder: just what is the point? The noble motive of bringing issues of great import into the spotlight? To demonstrate how humanity shares a commonly offended morality despite all of its differences? Just that and nothing else? How can any one heart be such a vast reservoir for all the world’s pain? How does it not shatter into a million pieces?
When I hear of a black kid being shot in the park by American police, I cringe and shake my head, but that is about the extent of my emotional involvement with such an incident. If I had known the black kid in question, my reaction would have been altogether more amplified, but as things go, I am far too distanced from the epicenter of the event to have anything but a momentary surge of melancholy at a young life cut short, before I return back to the safety of my routine. I might discuss the event with a friend over tea, but the screen of impersonality never rises. There is no pang that I feel, it is but with a cold scalpel and a studying eye that such topics are broached.
Maybe that makes me cold and selfish, but I prefer the term phlegmatic to describe my indifference. It comes from a combination of three things, (a) my emotional and physical distance from the occurrence, (b) my impotency in doing anything about it even if I wished to, and (c) an appreciation of the rule that the world simply is. The weak are always oppressed by the strong, regardless of all our civilized pretensions. The only time this rule is upended is when the weak themselves become strong, either through handouts or self-actuating revolt. In a world governed by vote-bank politics, the latter is rarely seen today; instead what is evident is mass appeasement of the once oppressed, engendering a misplaced sense of entitlement, which in turn leads to the once-oppressed assuming the role of the new oppressor. And so the cycle continues, only now the new oppressor appropriates a socially sanctioned rectitude: reverse racism, what an absurd concept!
So what can one make of the bleeding heart who spends every waking hour haranguing the world of its iniquities? Through the omniscient internet, this personage circumnavigates the globe, sniffing out injustices and assorted vices, and splashing them on his social network profile. The world, or at least his coterie of softies, stops by to express its lament and outrage, before moving on with their lives, or to the next slide of heartbreaking images, whichever comes first. It really feels like a kind of Social Justice Pornography to me, not entirely unlike the sexual form, either; a day is rarely complete before the bleeding heart gets off through having submerged himself in the smut of the world’s moral turpitude. On the odd occasion when I know enough about the person through other threads, I try to peer into his mind, and come away with the distinct impression that this person absolutely needs to be a revelatory figure and a bearer of ill tidings. He has established an image before the world, and before himself, and that image is a high maintenance one. It has to be constantly polished to a sheen to secure the person’s footing; not doing so would expose the gaping void in the center of his soul, ultimately driving him to the brink of a dissociated insanity.
Truth outs, eventually, and facts need to be known. That is not my contention, but rather how the type of person described above uses events of gravity, and tragedy, to validate his existence. It wouldn’t be surprising if the feeling they are left with after posting their daily quota of injustice porn is as empty as that which follows ejaculation over synthetic tits and ass on the computer screen. At least, semen out of the system always makes for a good night’s sleep.