There’s a Facebook status message meme going around that goes like this:
[Your name here] thinks that no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status.
This is about as useful as candlelight vigils and online petitions. I could just as easily come up with a status message meme that goes thus:
[Your name here] thinks that no one should die or be poor, and no one should feel sad or lonely. If you agree, please post this as your status.
You get the drift. No doubt all these things are desirable, but stating that is kind of obvious. The big question is, how are these things to be achieved? In answering that, hazaar thorny issues crop up, and no one solution is a panacea. (Some, in fact, run counter to one another.) All that a Facebook status message of this sort does is help you make a statement about yourself. So why not simply put up a message that says:
[your name here] is a kind and compassionate person, and you should be impressed by that.
There. Cut to the chase!
On a personal note, a friend SMSed today in great concern, asking if all was well with me. Apparently he saw an unusual lack of activity on India Uncut, and got worried. Well, yes, I’ve been immensely lax recently, but I’m back now, and intend to be regular. I promise. Smile now. Say cheese. Who’s a good reader now, bolly wolly golly?
Update (sep 5): Sriram Gopalan writes in to share his FB status message:
I am an evil, evil person who thinks poor people should die without healthcare, so that the rest of us can harvest their organs. If you agree, please make this your status for the rest of the day.
Isn’t that so much more fun?