There were all sorts of things I wanted to write about today. The stupidity involved in hitting yourself in the eye with a pair of headphones (don’t ask); the beauty of my newly-painted kitchen cupboards and the wonder that is the gloss roller; mispronounced words; when beige is not beige; the immediacy of blogging; and half a dozen other "fascinating" subjects.
But ideas of writing about such frivolity seem fairly inadequate in the light of today’s news.
Now, I know that I have ranted before about things that go on in the world that are tragic and yet do not make the headlines, and how we shouldn’t necessarily always focus on the headline tragedies and react in a knee-jerk style. But I’ve also been interested by the low level of reaction to the bombings in Madrid today in blogs in general. I’ve taken a bit of a straw poll of my regular reads, and none of them have mentioned today’s events so far.
When the Twin Towers were hit in 2001, every single blog devoted gigabytes of content to the subject. There was speculation, discussion, argument, discourse, opinion and even some on-the-spot reportage. But since then we have seen a succession of terrorist acts and other tragedies – the Bali bombing, the Casablanca attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, several bombings in Turkey and much much more. Maybe it is less shocking now – perhaps the death of more than 170 people in a terrorist attack that is not so far from home is no longer enough to move us to outrage, revulsion or even to think and write about it. We’ve become numbed by it all and sit blankly transfixed by the news images on television or the articles on news websites.
If that is true, then it is a shame. I think that the content of blogs is a reasonable reflection of the subjects that are being thought about by people at large. Subjects which feature prominently in blogs are also likely to feature in conversations in bars, taxis, cafes and at dinner tables. If people are thinking about these things, by extension they care about them and are likely to come up with some sort of opinion about them. It’s our duty as voters in a democracy to think about the affairs of the day and consider what our opinion is, otherwise how can we ever hope to influence governments so that they truly represent the will of the people. For, in order to do that, the people must have a will to be represented, based on more than the ideas spoon-fed to us by the corporate-funded idealogues that make their pronouncements on the glowing box in the corner of the living room and in the rags that pass themselves for newspapers.
Basically, what I’m saying is this: THINK.
Update: English language blog in Madrid.