Thursday, January 23, 2014

Too much of a good thing

As we all know, I get easily overwhelmed.  About every six months or so, I get overwhelmed with the amazing Social Justice-y and Environment-y work my church does and decide that I'll never live up to their standards and that I should just go live under a rock.

Apparently I'm not the only one.

I've run across a couple of articles lately that have totally hit the hark with people calling out the "holier-than-thou" attitudes in do-gooder community.
This you're-going-to-burn-in-a-hell attitude isn't exclusive to vegans. The broader environmental category of do-gooders can be the same way. Those who care about the Earth can be judge-y and dogmatic in the name of advancing the cause. And some love to play the gotcha game. Al Gore has a big house that requires lots of energy! You had to fly to get to that eco-friendly resort! Ooohh, I found some bleach under your kitchen sink! (Seriously, I once had an apoplectic commenter excoriate me for eating chocolate.)

It's especially bad when it comes to corporations. As soon as any corporation sticks its neck out and takes a step forward to more sustainable and ethical business practices, the blame game begins. When Chipotle, who tries to source local and organic ingredients and even gives its employees organic t-shirts to wear, made a beautiful commercial about factory farming, Grist turned on the snark spigot, saying it was "brainwashing" consumers, and encouraging them to "buy more shit." Ugh, spare me. (from here)
I get it.  Everyone wants to save the world.  But the Captain Planets of the world declaring that your efforts aren't good enough doesn't help.

But it's not just the Environmentalists.  It's everyone.
Remember the guy in college who would only listen to Polish post-Industrial Pop, because German post-Industrial was total mainstream swill? Remember the vegan who asked how it felt to be eating rotting flesh just as you were about to bite into your burger? Remember the young professional who gave you that withering look in the waiting room while you were reading People, then pulled out her own copy of The Economist? (from here)
Everyone has to start somewhere.  And everyone has their likes and dislikes.  Everyone has their levels of comfort and levels of participation.

I don't cosplay because I see the criticism that Cosplayers face when they play out of their body type.  (And honestly, who can?  Some of these anime chicks are huge boobs and no waist!!)

I'll never understand why every subculture and movement have these sentries.  The guardians of what is "enough."

Why can't we all do what we can, which what we can?

Because by claiming that what we do isn't "enough," they are forcing people out of their movements, subcultures and organizations.  And that isn't doing anyone any good.


Karen M. Peterson said...

I will never understand that holier-than-thou attitude. As long as we're all following our consciences, that should be enough.

Meari said...

I know!! All the holier than thou types are doing is just driving people away!

Areeba said...

I am sure I'll never get this attitude, seriously!