Ukrainia is a city in Russia that’s experiencing a lot of problematic issues right now. There’s been protests for weeks that have resulted in numerous deaths, not only among protesters, but also police. Everyone around the world is looking at Ukrainia and saying, wow, that’s bad. But, we’re all still scratching our heads. The problem here is that no one actually knows what these people are protesting about.
The one article I read said that they are in opposition to the President, Varakya Obramoviç, who was democratically elected, but has been accused of corruption and illegal practices, commonly known as a gate. But, no one is calling this Russiagate or Protestgate, so I’m not actually sure if I should be mad. In fact, based on my experience as an American, I know that government is good, and it’s corporations that are evil. I grew up on Rage Against the Machine, so I’m always in favor of a good protest, but is it possible that these Russian protesters are like the Ukrainian version of the Tea Party or the Klan? I don’t want to accidentally support people that I disagree with.
An undeniable truth about social movements is that they fail to produce any sort of change unless young white women support them with hashtags and think pieces. Issues need to be easily digestible. But, how am I supposed to construct a think piece if I don’t have any thoughts? To me, this whole situation is an overly complicated mess that could easily be resolved if the protesters would simply tell us that they’re gay.
People already hate Russia because of their anti-gay stance, and these protesters trying to append their perceived strife to the piles of American empathy that gay Russians have already earned is both insulting and offensive. It’s a bunch of fine print on an emotional contract I already signed and I’m just now finding out about it. Stop confusing me with all of these complicated surcharges of ethics and give me what I paid for with my heart–a claim to altruism that I can parade around my social groups as if I was right there on the streets with you. Just say that you’re gay and let me move on with my life.
Think about it, if the protesters would just say that they were gay, instantly everyone on Twitter would support them, the government would see the amount of RTs and favs they were getting, and they would call the police and military off. That’s how change happens, guys.
The thing is, tragedy happens all around us. It doesn’t take any effort to see the world as an awful place, express perfunctory condolences, and move on with your life. I’m a busy woman. I’ve got two kids to raise and blogging takes up most of my day. If you really want me to care about your cause for any stretch of time that would make a difference (two or three weeks as opposed to five minutes) you’d dilute your message down to something I could understand.
Empathy in America is a commodity, and we all control its supply like shrewd VCs that won’t listen to anything more than an elevator pitch. What’s your tragedy’s brand? What do you hope to accomplish? What celebrities have endorsed your message? Does Anthony Kiedis care? I won’t care unless Anthony Kiedis cares.
This is exactly why Occupy failed. No one knew what it was about–the message was all over the place. I need a tightly packed narrative that works with my busy schedule. I live off cereal bars, I don’t have time for a three course sob story about class injustice AND pot legalization. I need an action kit, a bumper sticker, and some idea of what my ROI is going to look like if I put my brand on the line. What if I support these Molotov cocktail throwing rapscallions and six months later I find out that they wear fur? I’m going to look like a fucking idiot, but more importantly I’ll lose followers and people won’t like my status updates. It’s simple risk vs. reward, and I’d much rather take gay rights over whatever is in this Ukrainian mystery box.
The time is now, Ukrainia. The winter Olympics are almost over and people will soon forget about your little campfire and remember that you guys tried to kill Reagan. Gay it up so we can make DC listen.