That’s an accent-mark, not an apostrophe. My Option-E key combo doesn’t work on WordPress title bars, apparently.
I probably shouldn’t write this post. Because it touches on why I snapped over at Aunt B.’s last week. And clearly, once you read this, you’ll see that I’m far from done with the snappishness. Blame the post-traumatic stress, or blame the fact that I can be a real bastard sometimes.
In case you didn’t know we had a flood, and odds are you might not have because a bomb that didn’t explode is far more interesting that a sky full of clouds that did, apparently. Especially when said bomb is less than a mile from your office and the big storm is somewhere out in Fat Rednecks With Bad Teeth territory. Griping about how no one knew about our flood has become one of our favourite pastimes here in Nashville.
But it seems our other favourite pastime, at least the places I frequent, is making a name for ourselves and our charitable ‘brand’ by capitalising on the desire of others to help.
Yes, this is a song I’ve sung here before, perhaps 100 times. The song where I say that it’s better to just give to the needy than to buy a pink ribbon shirt or a [Red] iPod or a funky-looking can of Pepsi. And I know your answers: People like to have a souvenier of their participation; anything that brings notice to the cause is a good thing; this route of fundraising is bringing in far more for the needy than I and my kvetchy whinealong.
You may be right.
But I’m sorry. I can’t get past the place where I find it somewhat distasteful that there are not one but two places you can buy 1 of at least 7 different t-shirt designs. None of which say “Folks died, folks lost their homes, folks lost their livelihoods and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!” or “Been There, Gawked At the Suffering, Got The T-Shirt.” And yes, I know some of the people behind the shirts and I like the shirt designs and doggone it, part of me wants one. Maybe long after the flood, when the stench of raw sewage has left the lawns and whatnot. But it still seems so new, so close to the end. Like selling souveniers of the apocalypse. Why then do I want one?
And it’s not just the t-shirts. I’ve lost count of the number of Facebook groups, websites, neighbourhood newspapers, HOA newsletters, church weekly mailers, etc., where you can offer your services to the needy. Or find something to fill your needs. It’s a good thing in that we’re a gregarious and generally kind-hearted bunch of folks who just want to help.
But I have the creeping suspicion that there are more than a few people who are pretty proud of themselves for being the Face of Nashville Compassion. And that irks me. It bugs me that resumés (see?! It works in the body copy!) will inevitably list “Organised Blank To Help Victims of The Nashville Flood”.
I suppose that’s the downside to living in this town. Our major businesses are showbusiness and printing. Both of which involve a heck of a lot of marketing. So we’ve got a lot of marketing-savvy people here. But sometimes, just sometimes, I’d like to feel like we’re all making genuine connections and not schmoozing for the next Opportunity. I