Roger Kimball writes with pith and wit about the all-too-earnest and all-too-easy compassion that (sadly) characterizes much of the talk surrounding disaster relief for Myanmar. A taste: The numbers, of course, are pure fabrications, so let me speculate that 10,000,000 will die unless you wring your hands and loudly tell the world how much you care–before, of course, you sit down for dinner tonight with the wife and kids and talk about your plans for the weekend.
Kimball argues that it is neither genuine nor morally superior to have real concern for people so far removed from your real sphere of influence. It’s not wrong, of course, to feel moved to action in the wake of such horrific events. But Kimball is probably right that guilt-inducing pleas for help to folks who are doing their level-best to be good and charitable in their daily lives (very often from folks who, well . . . are not) is more than a little off-putting.