Sunday, 9 August 2015

Blaugust 9, 2015: Old Man Yells At Clouds (again)

I'm a grumpy old bastard, right? You all know that I'll find a cloud to yell at, most days, unless I'm in one of those horrible things people call a 'good mood'.

Something I've been meaning to get off my chest for a while is how irritated I get at other people's reactions to things.

I can't accurately convey how annoying I find it when people react to a photo with the word, "blessed". I'm not even entirely certain why I feel this way. It usually happens when someone posts a photo of their happy family; mum, dad, children, dog, goat. One of their friends, almost assuredly a woman, will then respond to the photo with that one irritating little word.

I get what they are saying! They are saying that it is a wonderful thing to have a happy family, life must be good, you are blessed for having such adorable kids, etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Is it the word that I am irritated by? Or is it jealousy about what these people have that I don't, and I'm just projecting it onto the word? There is probably a little of that, but I hold that it is still predominantly the word. It is just... such a lazy simplification of sentiment and gives me the impression that the person posting it is a wide-eyed simpleton going through life with bluebirds on their shoulders like a fucking Disney princess.

It is also used in a very prescriptive fashion. I don't see it applied with anything near that nauseating frequency to gay couples, to happily single people taking holidays alone, or to expressions of joy at life's other simple pleasures such as a good cup of tea. Although a happy family is certainly a blessed thing, it is not the only blessed thing, and the disproportionate bias in usage is annoying.

"So don't tell me about your success
Nor your recipes for my happiness
Smoke in bed
I never could digest
Those illusions you claim to have going"

With the recent tragic death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh came an outpouring of grief. My feed had a fair few people expressing shock and disbelief that such a thing could happen, and a couple of people even wondered, "what is the world coming to?"

Although I felt and feel a great deal of sympathy for his family, I got very frustrated. I wanted to respond to these sentiments by pointing out that we live in a world where child soldiers kill each other in other people's wars, cartels murder schoolchildren in Mexico by the bus-load, and all the while the rich get richer at everyone else's expense. A local football coach dies and suddenly people have a tiny, fleeting glimpse of grim reality?

Obviously I didn't, because I'm not a complete dickhead. People felt connected to the guy, and felt sad, and that's a good thing and fair enough. But I have for a long time been supremely frustrated that people seem to go through life uncaring with blinkers on until something bad happens to *them*, making decisions purely out of self interest into the bargain. I'd appreciate it if people stopped to think about those who aren't a part of their day to day a little more often.

"The sun is shining, as it's always done
Coffin dust is the fate of everyone"

1 comment:

  1. I try really hard not to use "blessed" though it often comes to mind, as to me it has the religious connotations that I figure most people want to steer clear of. A bunch of the girls at work use "bless" the same way that I use "cheers" and that's just odd...