Your shallow concerns involve creatures that are not diseased enough

“there are more important things in the world than poorly penguin’s beaks/the repair of moss on ancient burial mounds/ comedy writer’s fees”.

Sometimes, when showing concern, interest or fury in anything that is not the immediate slaughter of the utterly lovely with hatchets and hate, your opinions will be dismissed as they have failed to register high enough on some people’s innate clap-o-meter of tragedy.

A friend sometimes bemoans the plight of tortured animals on social media and will always receive umbrage from those suffering vertigo from the Olympian heights of their morality. “Why care for the bile ducts of bears when the children are hungry?” Very few humans manage to priortise life so that their thoughts and actions are only focussed on the greatest suffering. One moment we might be doing a sponsored walk for Save the Children, the next we might be bemoaning Miley Cyrus’s skin revelations, or the volume of melodramatic aggression on Eastenders. For much of our lives, we are not talking about the most important things in the world, but diverted by other concerns and interests, it’s part of the coping mechanism of existence.

Just because you show concern for financing the repair of a historical Dorset dovecote used for shade by a mistress of Edward VII’s, doesn’t mean you are actively rejecting campaigns against poverty or for disability rights. Must we all gather together and work out the single most pressing issue we have the power to change and do nothing else until that has been sorted, then move on to the next one and the next over the centuries.

How do we decide in our utilitarian way? Few of us are as selfless as we might wish to be. If you are going to bemoan anyone demonstrating concern for something that is not in your top five list of world problems, make sure that you are doing something about them yourself. I have discovered a few who are fast to criticise are slower to campaign themselves, a return to Stephen Fry’s quip about critics at the gates of heaven “so what did you do?” “I didn’t really do anything, I pointed out where I thought other people had got it wrong” (NOTE – this was Fry referring to theatre critics I believe and is not meant to infer that this is his opinion on the subject I am writing about. Sorry if any of you have read that into it and got pissed off with me…again) .

This is not to say you shouldn’t use your valuable twitter time to lure people to your favoured charities or campaigns on Twitter, but if you are on Twitter complaining people are wasting their time on things you have no interest in, remember you are complaining about the wasting of valuable time while sitting in front of your tweetdeck.

To make this more positive, why not leave details of the campaigns and charities that you feel more people should be concerned with under this blog post. And I realise that I have wasted my own time and yours by writing this blog post when I could have been sewing bags of grain for the hungry who live near windmills and building shelters for hobbling mules with gout.

I am on tour and off to Cockermouth, Chorley, Reading, Swindon, York, Edinburgh, Newcastle and plenty more. Details HERE (IF CLICK LINK IS DODGY, IT IS JUST robinince.com)

I am also doing the show in London for the one and only time HERE

FOOTNOTE: I think it was the No More Page 3 campaign, when people told me, “there are more important things than topless women in newspapers”. Indeed there are, and there are more important things than having 39 flavours of ice cream too, but I now campaign for a world where ice cream choice and a lowering of misogyny in news print may exist hand in hand and there is still time to buy The Big Issue and donate for Medecins Sans Frontieres, before wasting a night arguing about your favourite Johnny Cash cover. Me? I am a bloody dreamer.

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9 Responses to Your shallow concerns involve creatures that are not diseased enough

  1. Nick says:

    It’s all a bit tricky.
    Charity does begin at home. Cliché. But family and friends will coerce more cash out of me than more remote causes.
    Are they the most needy causes? Probably.
    Are they the causes that might have an impact on my life? Likely.
    Is giving to charity as altruistic as we want it to be? Probably not.
    Does that make me sound like a not nice person? Yes.

  2. Jay says:

    I give smaller amounts split between two charities, one in the UK and one I trust overseas. I organised direct debits to the charities and change charities every two years.

    These have included, Banardos, Amnesty Int, MSF (Australia,) SENSE (deaf and blind children UK,) UNICEF, PLAN, Battersea Dogs and cats home…

  3. To tweet – to blog – to voice an opinion, is not a waste of time as long as it helps rather than hurts. It’s not a matter of scale – a universe is built by the conglomeration of minute particles. Not all of us have the means or the ability to help in a practical way, but we can all be catalysts for making the world a better place by a simply think out loud.

  4. Andrew Ryan says:

    Typo on ‘their’ in penultimate sentence. Soz, thought you might like to know. All best.

  5. Graham says:

    “there are more important things in the world than poorly penguin’s beaks”

    “why not leave details of the campaigns and charities that you feel more people should be concerned with under this blog post.”

    There is nothing more important than poorly penguin’s beaks

    https://support.wwf.org.uk/adopt-a-penguin

  6. Gimme says:

    “there are more important things in the world than poorly penguin’s beaks/the repair of moss on ancient burial mounds/ comedy writer’s fees”.

    wouldn’t it be conducive to time-saving if you did a decent explanatory summary and not just blummin funny?

  7. I love the way you write, or perhaps the mind that reveals itself in your words. You seem to poke the world and yourself in equal measure. I like it.

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you because in the course of trying to rediscover my WordPress password so that I could log on and indicate my approval of this post (terribly important, obviously), I had to rediscover the password for the site that hosts my own web page, so that I could increase the quota on the mailbox, so that I could receive the password reminder. And in the course of doing that, I discovered a mail that had been bounced from someone who hosts a fan page dedicated to my first love, and so I have reconnected with a world of memories. If I didn’t like your blog so much, I wouldn’t have tried so hard.

    And I would always support the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (www.celiahammond.org/)

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