April 15, 2009
Conservation Of Outrage
Speaking of the social life of documents — Clay Shirky shines a light I didn’t quite expect on the roman candle that was #amazonfail:
When trying to explain oneís past actions, hindsight is always 20/400. With that caveat, I will say that the emotional pleasure of using the #amazonfail hashtag was intoxicating. There is no civil rights struggle in the US that matters more to me than the extension of equal rights without regard for sexual orientation. Here was a chance to strike a public blow for that cause, and I didnít even have to write a check or get up from my chair to do it! I went so far as to publicly suggest a link between the Amazon de-listing and the anti-gay backlash following the legalization of gay marriage in Iowa and Vermont. My friend Nelson Minar called bullshit on my completely worthless speculation, which was the beginning of my realizing how much Iíd been seduced by righteousness, and how stupid it had made me.