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Monday, June 8, 2009

Oh, Give Me a Cause

As a member of 20Something Bloggers, I sometimes feel myself duty-bound to write blog posts directed at that particular sector of the population-- not necessarily 20something bloggers, but 20somethings in general. As a 29-year-old, I feel that I have attained sufficient wisdom to make a direct address to some of the 22-year-olds or *gasp* nubile, malleable-minded 20-year-olds who might chance to read this blog.


If there's one thing that's endemic to 20somethings, it's causes. 20somethings LOVE their causes. If you don't believe me, just look at any one of their Facebook pages. Ensconsed somewhere therein, in between the pictures of them wearing pink tank-tops and downing bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade and the ceaseless "Which Gangasta Rapper Are You?" or "Which STD Are You?" quizzes, you'll find the "Causes" that any particular 20something supports. Maybe it's "Save the Koala Bears" or "Save the Chinstrap Penguin" or "Save the Arts in Education" or "Save Private Ryan."

20somethings are always trying to save something. If they're not trying to save something, they're more likely than not trying to free it.

"Free Tibet" is always a popular one. "Free the Exploited Children." "Free the FDLS Children."

Lots of children need freeing, apparently. Which, I suppose, is better than freezing the children.

20somethings also love trying to free things or groups with numbers attached.

"Free the Move 9." "Free the Chicago 7." "Free the Cuban 5." "Free the New York 3."

20somethings also, for some reason, are oftentimes pretty hopped up on freeing cop-killers.

"Free Leonard Peltier." "Free Assata Shakur." And, the grand-whammee of them all: "Free Mumia."

Although I know it doesn't sound like it from my tone so far, I like and respect 20somethings for looking for causes to support. 20somethings, by and large, have their hearts in the right place. Not only that but, exiting college into an uncertain occupational and economic world, they have the potential to have their heads shoved so far up their own asses in the search for a way out of their parents' basements that they might just as well not fight for causes they believe in.

As my great-grandmother was fond of saying, "Look-- it's a selfish world." But, Bubbe, not for most 20somethings. They want to share their ire and frustrations at an unjust world. And I'm glad they do. Sometimes, however, I wish they would do it in a more constructive way than by trying in vain to free a man who shot a young policeman in the back, and then blew his brains out all over a Philadelphia sidewalk.

So, this is an urgent message to all you 20somethings out there looking for a bone to pick, a cause to support, a banner to wave, a sandwich board to paint, a drum to beat, a song to sing, a bandwagon to climb on:

North Korea has just sentenced two young, female journalists to 12 years of hard labor for slipping into North Korea illegally and reporting on humanitarian conditions.

Now, if that's not a cause worthy of getting your panties in a twist, then I don't know what is.

After 28 years of trying to convince the world that he's a "political prisoner," Mumia Abu-Jamal could learn a thing or two about the real definition of that term from Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

20somethings: your time to chant has come. Here is a cause worthy of your attention, your devotion, your petitions and, yes, your coveted Facebook statuses. Let's get crackin' all's y'alls.

The cause you have been waiting for has arrived.


  1. i think this whole cause phenomenon is a 21st century luxur.

  2. The problem with this situation is that it really has nothing to do with the reporters. North Korea is just using them as bargaining chips with South Korea and the US.

    Yanno - 'cause that's how K.J.I. rolls.

  3. Ugh. I've been reading a lot of comments about this story and it's amazing to me how many people have no sympathy for these women. The prevailing attitude seems to be that it was their own fault for having the audacity to visit North Korea and try to expose what's going on there in the first place.
    A journalist's first responsibility is to the truth, and that's what these two were trying to uncover. It doesn't go away if we just stay home and ignore it.
    Care2 has a petition to sign, if anyone is interested:

  4. My panties? They are bunched.



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