With the news that WordPress.com is banned in Brazil because of some inappropriate blogging by someone, Lorelle makes this observation:
I think bloggers around the world have become apathetic. Lazy. Uninspired. Dumbed down. Honestly. When the term echo chamber was coined, it was a good label for all the regurgitation of content spread all over the web, drowning individual voices. Self-interest blogging is pervasive. What happened to altruism and using the blog publishing platform to support freedom of speech and bloggers around the world?
What happened to us? Why am I not seeing protests and opinions on this issue all over the web? Why isn’t the banning of three million WordPress.com blogs a big deal? Why aren’t we talking about this instead of the latest iPhone gizmo and useless SEO techniques? Why didn’t people get angry and protest loudly when WordPress.com blogs were banned in Turkey, China, and other countries? WordPress.com continues to be banned in places – why aren’t we talking about this?
. . . I’m asking bloggers around the world to take a stand and let their voices be heard when others can’t. Let not millions of bloggers be blocked and banned for the sake of a couple of idiots. You don’t send an entire city’s population to jail because two people break the law. (Note to Lorelle – in Texas you can do exactly that.)
What really struck me about this observation is that it is not limited to blogging in any way. Because it is so easy to shout out your frustration – using blogs, YouTube, letters to the editor, or any other easy way to blow off steam – many people have settled into inaction when it comes to actually doing anything to make a change about those things that they don’t like.
Inaction on the part of most people to the minor inconveniences of a .05% tax hike are the reason that a few people who stand to gain millions of dollars from that tax hike are able to get the tax raised over the muted objections of the vast majority of people who have nothing to gain from the hike. (I’m not talking about any specific tax hike here, I’m talking about principles of politics and human behavior.)
It’s time to do more than what is easy, blowing off steam in a blog or a letter to the editor, and start doing what is hard but important, attending public hearings and caucus meetings, actually reading the text of bills being considered by our government. Then we have to do more than write a letter to our representatives – we have to talk with our fellow citizens and urge them to action as well. We have to inspire them to action on issues of importance to us – otherwise we deserve whatever government gives to us – or takes from us.