on toys and hypocrisy
Some people speak of doing good things; they speak of action and inaction and altruism and social justice. And some of those people sit back and let their words just hang in the air, as if everyone should grab them and go ahead and make them their own. They feel as if just saying something, just thinking something is as good as doing something.
And then there are people who do, people who put their actions where their words are and get off their asses and turn their words into reality, without thought as to means and ends and without a philosophical discourse on the innuendos and hidden meanings of their actions. Simply, because they believe there are none. They have an idea that is meant to help others and they just do it, instead of analyzing every aspect of what their actions might mean to other people in the end. They have one goal, they make that goal happen regardless of politics, religion or ideology because of the one main purpose of that goal: someone needs help and that someone is going to get it.
Chief Wiggles is that kind of man, one with a big heart and that heart is in the right place. His intentions are noble and it does no one any good to disseminate those intentions and to cast shadows upon them because it will only serve to make the recipient of his heart felt intentions be neglected once more.
The Chief is in Iraq and he keeps a blog while he's there, letting everyone in on the day to day operations of finding peace and democracy in a country that has never known either. In one of his recent posts, he mentions an Iraqi child who was so pleased with receiving a toy, and the Chief's subsequent thought that all the children of Iraq should be that pleased; that if one small token, one small gesture made one small child that happy, it would be an even greater act of kindness if all the children of Iraq were that happy.
In my own little way, I am influencing and affecting the attitudes of Iraqis one person at a time, taking baby steps, one experience at a time. My sphere of influence is small in comparison to the task at hand, but who knows what the ripple affect will be of my small effort to calm the tears of one sweet little girl. Thanks to my team mates back home who made this moment possible by sending me the toys to hand out to Iraqi children. I have only one request of them and others please send me more toys.
And from that, an idea grew. The Chief's readers picked up on it and spread the word. Chief had no idea how strongly his words would resound with others who, like him, move on their ideas and turn their words into actions. Toys for Iraq was born out of one small instance, one tiny little moment in the life of a little girl who probably had not smiled in a long time.
So it disturbs me to see members of the left basically pissing on the Chief's parade. As I pointed out last night, a MetaFilter thread about Toys for Iraq quickly derailed into a snarling snark fest in which lefties of all sorts took issue with the war, with the president, with Chief Wiggles' idea itself and turned the entire point on its head.
What is it with the left that everything they speak about is in the form of protest? We know everything they are against, but does anyone know what they are for? All of their actions are in the form of a fight against something; an idea, a presidency, a war, a specific person, a treaty. What do they stand for besides brick throwing, spray painting and anti-ism?
It's disheartening to see that people who call themselves humanitarians, people who claim to care about social injustice, would be so full of their anger and righteousness that they would deny the good in giving children of war some toys to play with. Who are they hurting by demeaning and picking apart the Chief's idea? They are hurting the children who, by all appearances, is something the left care greatly about.
I watched Hair the other night. I've seen the movie at least twenty times. When I was younger, I owned the Broadway version of the soundtrack (which is infinitely better than the movie version). I once believed, like the characters in Hair, that everything was peace and love and happiness and the world should just all get along. And then I grew up. As I got older, I believed less and less of the message of the original far-lefties of the 60's. I became a realist.
This was the first time I watched the movie since I made the full swing from teenage liberal to an adult who is somewhere right of center. I still enjoyed the movie; I love the music, the story and the ironic ending still chills me. But I can't help watching it now with a spark of bitterness at the irony present in the modern form of the hippies.
Where is the something
Where is the someone
That tells me why I live and die
Where do I go
Follow the children
Where do I go
Follow their smiles
Is there an answer
In their sweet faces
That tells me why I live and die
That's from one of the songs on the soundtrack, Where Do I Go? In those words, we see the core of what the left is about. The Children.
But what children, I do not know. Whose children are they looking out for? What future are they trying to preserve and for what babies and future babies? Surely it can't be the Iraqi children. Even though the left protests this war with a fervor not seen since the Vietnam protests, they still have not shown me that they actually care about the people affected by this war. What do they care about, then? They care about their own sense of self satisfaction. They are protesting a war, therefore they are noble and responsible and they throw words out there in the form of slogans and slurs and hey, isn't that enough?
It seems arrogant and self-centered to me that the lefites cannot put aside their distaste for this war just for one minute, in order to do something For The Children. Sending a soccer ball to a kid in Iraq is not going to give the liberal crowd Right Wing Cooties. They won't be infected with a sudden love for George Bush or the desire to vote Republican. They will just be making a child who has nothing to do with American hegemony - the enemy of the left - smile. Instead, the anti-everything people are giving a giant, collective middle finger to the children and parents of Iraq by saying, we don't really care about you. Your happiness is not as important to us as following our ideals. Perhaps if one of those children was on the front page of a magazine with injuries caused by an errant American missile, the lefties would flock to give the kid toys and candy and even money because he would represent all that is evil about American and war. That's how screwed up their priorities are.
Me, I'm going to give some toys because this is not about my feelings or my ideals or my happiness. It's about some really poor kids who are learning how to smile, how to enjoy life like a child should. That's the bottom line. Some people are just too shallow to see that.
You can find all the information you need about the toy drive, including do's and don'ts and the address right here.
There's an update, with plenty of suggestions and ideas in the comments.
Dean posts about a similarity between Chief Wiggles and a long ago toy drive run by another Wiggles.
Chief Wiggles could use some buttons for people to link easily to the project. If you're good with that kind of thing, maybe you could make a few and send them to me or post them here in the comments, as Dean and I are going to put together a page with links, buttons and all the info you need for the toy drive.
UPDATE: Stacy has posted some great buttons in the comments. Feel free to use them, just please save to your own server.
Here's one my sister made: