There is this guy I used to date, way back when I when I was an impressional silly young thing. This guy? He was full of scorn + sacasm. If he didn't agree with something, he'd make some horrible sarcastic retort while implying that he knew better. That whatever you were doing was the stupidist, most idiotic thing you could do. I see people all over twitter + facebook blacking out their profile picture protesting the New Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill that the New Zealand government snuck in with new laws to help Christchurch after their earthquake. In 2009 the bill was overturned (because it was so incredibly idiotic) and it appears that the new bill is just as atrocious.
So I've blacked out my twitter profile pic, because I disagree with what the NZ government is doing. Because I'd like everyone else to know that this is what I think, and because everytime I come across another blacked out profile pic? I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.
It's a harmless, small thing to do. It doesn't hurt anyone. It quietly says that I disagree, and that's enough.
This guy that I used to date? This is exactly something his sarcasm would kick up a notch over. Things like "Oh yeah, you can change the world with a blacked out image" or "black out, stab at the very heart of 'the man'".
He never saw the point. He would say that it doesn't acheive anything, that changing your profile image has no bearing on the outcome. That it was a complete waste of time. The scorn + sarcasm would come out in bucket loads.
Here's what I think: it's not a feeble attempt to change a law with an image change. I think its a show of support + encouragement. And it's this kind of supprt that get things changed. It's the kind of support that got the bill thrown out last time.
So sure, I'm not personally marching down to the beehive with pickets, causing chaos and mayhem as I go (I was in Rome when those riots happened in December. I'm good on avoiding anything like that, thanks). But for the people that are enacting change? Who are looking for a referendum? For all the MPs who will debate against the change? I support them. Quietly, without causing much fuss, I can add my support to them while also spreading awareness.
Here's what I don't get about this boy who is all full of sarcasm: It doesn't hurt him in the slightest if I, or the many other kiwis doing it blackout a profile image. It doesn't affect his life one tiny iota. So why does he feel the need to get down on other people who are quietly showing their support against a cause they disagree with? If he had a better way to fight 'the man' then fair enough, but in all the time I knew him, he preferred to get down on other peoples ideas instead of finding a solution. He didn't want to join the game, he wanted to boo from the sideline.
So then, to all the people who have blacked out their profiles? I'm with you. To the people who will hopefully enact change to bring about smart and senisble laws, I'm with you too.
To the idiots all across the internet who use sarcasm + scorn to make people feel horrible about themselves? Fuck you. Find something helpful to be scornful about. Because doing something (no matter how minor) in favour of what you believe in is better than doing nothing.