As I scanned through Asian American blogs this morning, I came across a picture of a mini-dressed, middle-aged white woman surrounded by a gaggle of young, undressed multicultural men. I would repost the picture here, but after careful consideration, the source isn’t worth giving publicity to. You know those pictures and headlines that purposefully make themselves so ridiculous that people repost it? That’s what this was, and I refuse to give them the satisfaction or the extra attention.
My boss caught me on this scantily clad section of the blogosphere, so naturally, I tried to play it off like I like good looking men. And naturally, it didn’t work because my boss knows what I like more than pretty pictures. Getting angry. I, like many other bloggers, like prowling the internet looking for things to be angry about.
If I was trying to make myself look good, I would call it proactive critical thinking. I would say “There’s so much messed up stuff out there! I’m just trying to make sure that nobody gets a free pass! If something is problematic in terms of race or gender or class dynamics, the world needs my insightful analysis!”
While it’s true that nobody should get away with racism/heterosexism/religious intolerance, and while I do like to imagine that my commentary is genius, I’ve got another theory I’m working on– that sometimes its better to just let things quietly die away. Some people just want attention and when I go looking for fights, they get it right away. Things get blown out of proportion. And then it’s easy to lose track of what’s really important.
Some fights need more attention than others. I was at UC Berkeley when a group of people climbed into some trees to stop the school from cutting them down. I like trees, but really? The school spent over a million dollars trying to get the protestors down. It went on for months. It made national television! And meanwhile, tuition and fees increased astronomically. The student senate discussed divestment from Israel. Local restaurants were pushed off campus to make way for fast food chains. And the percentage of students of color admitted to the University continued to drop, while the average family income of new students continued to rise. I like trees, but people are a more pressing priority, and I think that the other issues on campus deserved more attention.
We can go looking for fights, and we should pursue our differing passions. But some fights deserve more attention than others.