Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do Something Or Shut The ... Up!

What good does complaining do?

New York City subway sign - Chambers St / World Trade Center

Take an issue like, oh, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) voting to raise fares on New York City unlimited ride monthly MetroCards... or whatever the heck they're specifically called.

I'm sure many folks out there in the land of this whole interweb dealie are complaining to their hearts delight on their blog, folks like my favorite Brooklyn blogger Erica. She rocks, she puts up great post after great post with some wacky fun thrown in for good measure... she calls people dooshbag which I've adopted even though calling people names I don't especially care to do. But when I do, dooshbag's usually pretty accurate!!

In any case...

the way I see it, complaining on a blog accomplishes next to jack diddly squat. Well, I mean, you do have the chance to get something off your chest. I guess that's better than strapping a couple guns to your person (God, I hate that term) along with a few extra clips or magazines or whatever you wanna call the things that holds the bullets and going to some school or place of business or wherever people gather to start blowing random people away because you're mad as hell and you're just not gonna freakin' take it anymore.

Call me crazy but I guess any time that can be prevented, that's a good thing.

Alright, so a fare hike probably won't drive anyone to go to such extreme lengths but really, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened. Sad, huh? Annnnyway... mayhaps a complaint on your blog also garners some sympathy. "Woe is me, this bites and I'm kinda down about it but I'm also feelin' angry!!! And I wouldn't mind a cyber hug or two." Okay, that might work, as well.

What else does complaining do? Does complaining get anything changed? There have been times, though I can't specifically name any, when the power of bloggers became the power of the people and positive change took place. It can happen.

Let's look at the cold hard facts, shall we, straight to the numbers -- okay, I don't have numbers but seriously, compared to the sheer number of complaints posted each and every day to blogs of the world, how often does that alone bring about change? What's the percentage of positive outcomes? .000000000000002187004% maybe? Something like that, right? Give or take a few zeros.

What if, say, twenty thousand people complained to actual real live human beings, as useless as the people being complained to might truly be, using actual letters folded and put inside actual envelopes mailed using actual stamps? It's often difficult to be optimistic about positive change coming about... especially when you don't know if anyone else in the world is also going to speak out so vocally about the same issue that concerns you... and especially when you're dealing with the government!

"My one letter won't do anything," you might say to yourself.

Yeah, well, my one vote in an election won't do anything either. And if my one vote won't help get anyone new in office, then your one vote doesn't mean anything, as well. No one's one vote will make a difference. Hell, why doesn't everyone just not f-ing vote!?!?

But look, my vote plus someone else's vote multiplied exponentially, well then, we just might have a way to bring about change. Hmmm...

Okay, similarly but concerning... poverty, for example. It's great if 100,000 people say that they truly care about poverty in the world. It makes them mad and sad that children die of hunger...

but does caring alone get anything accomplished?


You might as well just quit wastin' your time and just say you really don't give a crap. Inaction is all you're really about if you don't do at least a small part to help.

Back to letter writin' -- one letter plus someone else's letter multiplied exponentially, that could mean something. And no, not freakin' e-mail because in essentially one brisk click hundreds of e-mails can be deleted and never even opened. The same is true with letters, I suppose... but an actual letter is more likely to be read than some e-mail. It might sit on someone's desk just calling out to be reread. Maybe whoever you've written it to will put it in a briefcase and take it home and ponder it there. Stacks of letters makes a statement. How exactly do e-mails stack up on your office floor if they're all in one computer? An e-mail won't have that power to be so personal. You can put your emotions into an e-mail but on paper, in an envelope that's been personally addressed, they mean more. You have actually taken the time to truly reach out to someone to let them know how you feel. I know, doing an e-mail can also be taking the time to actually reach out to someone... but it's just not the same.

Look, don't just blog your complaint and think you've done your part. How is that actually trying to accomplish change?!??
You might think that's a good thing. You might feel better when you turn off the light at night to go to sleep or do whatever you do in the privacy of your bed... or on your webcam for the whole internet to see, hey, whatever you're into, I'm not gonna judge at the moment... all I'm a freakin' sayin' is COMPLAINING AND THAT'S THE END OF STORY will get NOTHING accomplished as far as bringing about the change that you want to see.

It almost makes sense that if you don't try your small part in fixing what you want fixed, then you have NO right to complain. But of course you have the right to complain, well, especially here in the United States of America. In Iran... or Cuba... or North Korea... not so fast there, loudmouth. People in those nations can't even complain much less actually do something to bring about change. The same was true under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan... and the same was true under Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Amazing, huh, not even being able to complain without fear of persecution. But here, as much as the Constitution is being "shredded" by our "idiot" President, you very much STILL DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN!!!

But wait, there's more!!!! It goes BEYOND that -- here you have the right to actually do something to bring about change. You might face huge odds and what you want to accomplish might never get accomplished at all... but complaining and leaving it at that means you're not even trying.

So, yeah, while you have the right to complain, if you don't do anything else other than that, just shut the ... up, capisce?


Erica said...

Zoooma, you don't know these people. They don't listen. Writing a letter? They'd wipe their asses with it. Straphangers advocates, elected officials on both sides, riders, petitions, letters, emails, protesters......

They just don't listen. It's useless. The MTA has a freakin' surplus -- they didn't need to do this. Service sucks, and they're making US pay for it, when they're the ones who should pay for it.

Whatever. I just woke up, so my thoughts might not be so well thought out, so to speak, but I don't think whether the letter is written, emailed, spray-painted, or whatever: Whatever fabric these dooshbag animals are cut from, they just won't listen.

Fare hikes. God, they are such baboons.

Zooomabooma said...

I have no doubt that fighting the MTA is a losing battle.

But why crash and burn in defeat without even trying?

How much physical space would 1,000,000 letters take up? That's a frickin' statement that can't be ignored.

(And that's not even 25% of New York City!)

But the thing is, the way I see it, people are addicted to complaining without truly acting. That's practically part of the American Way!!!

Paying more per year out of pocket will actually be preferred over voicing one's dissenting opinion because the latter is just too much work.

Crap like this just makes me think that I'm not gonna vote because the government, they don't listen to the people, they're idiots, they just want my tax dollars and they don't give a crap about me... so I won't vote. I'll complain and then I think I'll complain some more but since it's a losing battle, forget doing anything at all.

And I won't give to charities 'cause people will still starve anyway. Fuck 'em all, fuck the world.

We have a choice. We can complain and get nothing done or we can at least try even if it's in a losing battle.

I just can't see myself laying down like the submissive dog and giving in to the pervert who wants to molest me.

Better to Fight. Even if somebody out there is one lone voice for a particular issue that needs to be addressed ... that one voice is better than none at all.

Approximately how many million people use public transit in NYC nowadays? And what percentage have stood up to fight? Maybe the MTA can ignore 10% in disagreement... but would they really ignore the pleas of say, 75 or 80%?

Nazz Nomad said...

Between the Rail Road and the subway; , my commute is going to go up $30 a month. Or, as my friends who can multiply have told me, $360 per year.

Things get more expensive, whaddya gonna do.
It's still the best way to get around NY.

It would cost me $60 per day to drive, pay gas, tolls and parking to commute to NTC from my home.

It's a bit more heinous that congress just passed a budget yesterday with billions going to the war effort.

At least my add'l $30 for the MTA goes (in some part) to pay Americans to work.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated