Note to self: when exhausted and massively short on sleep due to a brutal work crunch may not be the best of all possible times to keep compulsively reading news coverage about the situation in Haiti. One's usual emotional shock-absorbers are not functioning at full capacity in that state, and everything hits even harder than it ordinarily would, and I am the not the sort of person who can read stuff like that and remain unaffected even at the best of times.
Interesting article in the Toronto Star Underlying racism infects crisis response: study
Unfortunately, the study's findings pretty accurately describe the mentality of a lot of the commenters on news stories on the Star site and elsewhere, which make me want to set people on fire. More so than I usually do, that is. Maybe one of my new year's resolutions should be stop reading the comment sections on news sites.
Nothing good ever comes of doing that. Even when I can bring myself to post comments challenging all the reactionary crap that gets posted there, it feels like trying to stem a tidal wave of shit with a paper fan or something.
. . .
But in the vein of trying to do something constructive about the situation instead of just whimper and rock myself, this is a reminder that I am auctioning off three custom-written stories
via the help_haiti
community. One fairy-tale based, one mini-legend like the ones I've done in thousandcats
, and one that's more or less anything goes.
Winning bidder on each one donates the amount of their bid to any recognized charity doing relief work in Haiti, and forwards a copy of the receipt. Only received one bid thus far (on the fairy tale), so I'm hoping to stir up a little more interest, so as to actually generate some useful amount of donations.
Note: if you do decide to bid, make sure you're clicking on the "Reply" link right under my comment with the offer, and not on the "Leave comment" link at the bottom of the comment thread, otherwise your bid will go in as a comment to the entire 3000-comment thread rather than coming to me specifically, and I'll never find it.
. . .
BTW, I'm finding the level of activity in that community to be really inspiring. There are hundreds and hundreds - maybe more like thousands - of things being auctioned, from books and stories to homemade cookies, souvenirs from all the different parts of the world that contributors to it live in (there's a lot of "A Box of [place name]" items that are basically collections of random stuff from the places in question - I was very tempted by the Box of Holland, which included stroopwafels
among other things), graphic design and editing services, crocheted Cthulhus, PHP scripts and web hosting.
Yesterday, the moderator posted a request for people to translate the community FAQ & userinfo into other languages, and within just a few hours there were versions of it up in German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Russian and Tagalog. A day later, that's been supplemented with Hebrew, Italian, Catalan, Welsh, Hungarian, Portuguese and Greek, and people are working on Korean and Chinese.
Note to self #2: more time perusing communities where people are coming together to do helpful and positive things, and less time looking at comments on news articles makes for a happier and more productive Lynx, with more faith in humanity.
. . .
In related news, I am delighted to report that I am still, for the moment, the top bidder for the crocheted dinosaur I want to get for Aidan.