It's almost a koan, I imagine -- the compelling or perhaps overwhelming sense of outrage or pain or love or joy that can sweep in like a hurricane out of the Caribbean ... and no one gives a shit. How galling, how painful, how utterly and absolutely wrong it can seem.
For example, my hair can suffer from spontaneous combustion at the thought of war and the havoc it can wreak. The sheer and utter stupidity and waste and political chicanery and unkindness can leave me frothing like a rabid fox. But, based on even a cursory look around the globe, there is some reason to suspect that no one (or at least not enough people) give a shit.
Or ... a small child with nothing but ribs for a chest stares blankly at the camera.
Or ... a man with cufflinks speaks of those who are poor as if they were lazy, greedy moochers.
Or ... a religious institution founded on charity manipulates its constituency to assure that greed is the norm.
I imagine everyone has their own social laundry list of items about which they care deeply ... and that depth is encouraged or dismayed by the fact that others do not feel the same. When it comes to giving a shit, it seems that the agreement of others is an inescapable demand, a proof positive that whatever the topic is, it is worth giving a shit about.
But isn't it true: No matter how many people agree and applaud and console, still the situation remains unresolved, un-disposed-of? True, the collective will of a lot of American young people who gave a shit helped to end the Vietnam war ... but somehow did nothing to avert the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that proceeded without a backward glance.
And from this, if true, there is one single fact that sticks out: I give a shit.
And it's important (at least to me) that I give a shit.
And that, it seems to me, is the point of any really fruitful departure.
How and why and who cares?
Well, I do ... no applause necessary ...