I wrote a bit about R.E.M. and Troy Davis and the hikers jailed in Iran and pop critics and The Interwebs, for The Rumpus. Here’s a peek:
By evening, my various feeds took on a competitive tone. Many on Twitter commented humorously they could feel the attention of white people shifting away from Davis and onto indie rock nostalgia as homages to R.E.M. started making the rounds. Later a graphic went viral on Facebook. It showed Troy Davis’ face next to text that read: “I’m glad everybody’s upset about Facebook changing.”
Point taken – some things are a bigger deal than others and it’s good to have perspective. White people like indie rock and are not frequently killed by our government. I got it. But also … something about the mean-spiritedness of it all didn’t sit right with me. Why are we so invested in judging each other’s real-time filtering of current events online? Of course a rock band breaking up isn’t as important as Troy Davis being killed. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t touched in real and important ways by it.